Jones Lang LaSalle announces new business to target Gulf interest in English capital city
Jones Lang LaSalle (JLS) has tied up with a number of British developers to offer new build property in London for investors in the UAE, the real estate consultancy said.
The agency will open a desk in Dubai to offer real estate from developers, including the Berkeley Group, Barratt Homes and British Land, to tap into the growing demand for luxury property in London, its regional CEO said.
“The London market is very international and the Middle East is an important source of buyers. Last year our London colleagues sold more than GBP£150m (US$Xm) of property into GCC countries,” said Alan Robertson.
London-based developers are increasingly looking to the oil-rich Gulf to sell new property amid a surge in sales in the wake of the Arab Spring.
Buyers from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman accounted for 3.7 percent of all London property sales valued at GBP£1m and above during 2012, according to data from real estate consultant Knight Frank.
Overseas buyers are traditionally more comfortable with purchasing off-plan real estate, Knight Frank said in its international residential investment in London report. A spike in interest from foreign buyers has enabled developers to secure funding to develop schemes in a “housing market largely starved of development finance”, the report added.
London-based St George, the developer behind Chelsea Creek, said last week it will launch the latest phase of the project in the UAE as it looks to target wealthy Gulf investors.
JLS, which will also offer new build property for Ballymore Group and Galliard Homes, said it has seen a spike in interest from the Middle East over the last few years.
“There has always been interest from Arab countries but there has been a significant amount of growth over the last few years. Some see London as a safe haven so it may be a response to turmoil in their home market,” said Robertson.
“I think with other investment possibilities becoming less attractive, such as equities and real estate in other geographical locations, London property has become comparably more attractive for international buyers,” he added.