By Shayne McGinley
Real estate chiefs see big rise in number of UK property inquiries from region.
A London-based real estate company owned by HSBC Private Bank says a growing number of Middle East investors are interested in buying UK property this summer.
Up to 80 percent of people that Property Vision spoke to in the region were eyeing deals in the UK following the fall of the value of the pound against the US dollar.
“The number of Middle Eastern buyers registering with Property Vision is fairly constant year-on-year,” said James Geddes, head of Property Vision’s Middle East team.
“What is different is that until last year no one was interested in buying in the UK due to the property market peak and the weak US dollar. Recently I have seen a much stronger interest in the UK market due to the reversal of these two factors,” he told Arabian Property magazine.
The advantage for dollar buyers is that prices in London have nearly halved over the last year and Property Vision reported that this has culminated with increased interest from Middle Eastern buyers.
Ed Mead, director at London agency Douglas and Gordon, supported the theory and reported that the company has seen a 20 percent rise in online registrations from overseas buyers, with increased interest from the Middle East.
“Currently 70 percent of our sales transactions in central London are to foreign buyers,” added Mead.
Chesterton’s House Price Poll of Polls, which surveys house price indices across the UK, found that in December the average price of a residential property in England and Wales was $255,878, with prices falling 12.8 percent since December 2007.
In London, the average price is now $453,770, 13.3 percent below the average value a year ago.