China’s High Net Worth Individuals Corner Prime London Properties
London has always been popular with affluent Russian buyers, now the Chinese are taking the lead. Realty agencies in London are looking for Chinese-speaking personnel. The number of flights from China and Hong Kong has grown manifold after the lockdown.
At that, the interests of Chinese property investors go far beyond Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Belgravia where most Russian investors used to settle. Such neighbourhoods as Covent Garden, Whitehall and St John’s Wood are now in the limelight.
In 2019, almost half of sales in prime London locations were sales to foreign buyers. Mainland Chinese accounted for 7 percent, Hongkongers for 6 percent, 36 percent from Europe, 23 percent from the Middle East, just 2 percent from Russia.
Hong Kong and mainland Chinese investors channeled almost £7.7 billion in London property last year. London is, by all means, the most attractive destination for Chinese realty investment - with almost 100,000 properties in London purchased by Hongkongers and 120,000 by mainland Chinese.
The property boom is largely due to the political tensions in Hong Kong and the UK residency offer for British Overseas Nationals. Many Chinese investors used to have their funds processed through Hong Kong - now they need to review their channels, yet that doesn’t seem to be a blocker. Mainland Chinese buyers have shown significant presence on the market despite the political coldness between the UK and China and the difficult situation in Hong Kong.
Chinese clients have a broad spectrum of tastes - from traditional Victorian houses to ultra-modern luxury apartments. Popular locations now extend to the suburbs of Hampstead and St John’s Wood. Some new developments that draw the attention of Chinese buyers are the Bryanston, One Grosvenor Square, Clarges and Hanover Bond.
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