By Andy Sambidge
Investment firm IP Global says it has seen 'rapid rise' in real estate interest from region in past 12 months
Middle East buyers are now behind 20 percent of all prime central London real estate deals following a rapid rise in interest over the past 12 months, IP Global has said.
The property investment company said the capital city of England was "one of the most attractive in the world" in terms of Middle Eastern investment.
The firm said in a new report that overseas property investors now accounted for 48 percent of all prime central London property purchases.
It added that Middle Eastern buyers accounted for 20 percent of overall purchases, saying the figure had "risen rapidly over the past 12 months".
Real estate consultants Knight Frank said last month that prices have risen 34 percent since their recent post-credit crunch low in March 2009 and prices were now at a record high, two percent higher than their previous peak in March 2008.
IP Global added that 60 percent of all UAE investment has been in London, with the remaining 40 percent in Asia Pacific.
"This signals a positive outlook for London's property market, as it accounts for nearly 100 percent growth on IP Global's 2010 figures.
"Demand for London property and especially its 'trophy' assets of Belgravia, Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Chelsea have traditionally been a key requirement for investors from the GCC, and IP Global predicts that Central London will continue to lead the pack in terms of growth throughout 2011," IP Global said in a statement.
Tim Murphy, CEO of IP Global, said: "London has emerged as one of the top property investment hotspots in the world, especially for Middle East investors.
"While London has always been a prime property market, factors such as the recent unrest in some parts of the Middle East and the rising inflation in Asia have added to London's appeal as a preferred investment destination for potential property buyers. London has seen a strong start to the year and we expect this to carry on through 2011."
To date, IP Global said it has invested over $900m in 19 markets across the globe on behalf of its clients.
Last month, Knight Frank said prices of prime London property rose 0.9 percent in June, contributing to annual growth of 8.3 percent.
It revised its forecast for prime central London price growth from three percent to nine percent this year.