London - Investors from Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and China are buying up property in London, attracted by a weak pound and rising rents.
Asian investors made up almost half of all buyers in the London residential property market in the past year, according to research by Knight Frank.
Investors from China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia made up 28 per cent of London home purchases in the year ended March, the London-based broker said. Buyers from the rest of Asia, not including India, amounted to 18 per cent, while British purchasers represented 37 per cent of sales.
'Current international investment demand is almost totally concentrated on London and is primarily coming from Asia,' said Knight Frank head of residential research Liam Bailey. 'The interaction of currency movements, strong capital price growth and, more recently, rising rents have created an attractive investment case.'
Chinese investors are also looking to buy property overseas to spread their risk if the China market bursts, Knight Frank said. Many are looking to gain access to British universities, with the number of Asian students studying there rising 175 per cent over the past decade, the broker said.
The most attractive homes for Asian investors are located in the two central London zones and within a few minutes' walk of a subway station.
Asian investment in London property has totalled £761 million (S$1.6 billion) over the past 12 months, according to the broker. Of the 7,579 new homes built in the last year in central London, 41 per cent were bought by investors rather than buyers who planned to live in the residence.
Source: Sunday Times, 13 Jun 2010