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Tue 21 Jun 2016 02:00 PM

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25% of Gulf investors say no plan to live in London homes

Survey confirms growing concerns about rise of 'buy to leave' properties in UK capital owned by overseas buyers

25% of Gulf investors say no plan to live in London homes

A quarter of Gulf investors seeking to buy property in London are not planning to live there, according to new research.

Amid growing concerns about the rise of “buy to leave” properties in the UK capital, which are owned by overseas investors who do not use them for most of the year, a new survey showed one-in-four Gulf investors said they were targeting capital gains rather than looking for somewhere to live or let out.

The new mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has spoken out about buyers who use homes in the capital as “gold bricks for investment”, the UK's Guardian reported.

The research by the estate agency Cluttons and YouGov focused on a small number of high net worth individuals from Gulf states who were interviewed about their property portfolios.

It said that of the 127 people who responded, more than one in 10 said London was their city of choice for investment while 22 percent said they were planning to buy to let.

Faisal Durrani, head of research at Cluttons, told the Guardian: “Our research confirms the sentiments of many that London is perceived to be lined with gold bricks with the residential returns outperforming mediocre stock and bond markets in recent years.”

He added that investors from the Middle East were “less sensitive to the Brexit uncertainty” than those from other parts of the world.

Durrani said that while 47 percent of those surveyed were motivated by capital gains and rental values, a quarter planned to use their acquisition as a second residence for themselves and their family.

Earlier this month, Knight Frank said a number of GCC investors are adopting a "wait and see" approach when it comes to their real estate decisions in the UK amid the looming EU Referendum vote.

The real estate consultancy said that buyers and sellers are choosing to hold off making investment decisions until after the vote on June 23.

Sovereign and private investors from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE have been prolific buyers of British assets in the past decade, snapping up billions of dollars worth of property, mostly in London.

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