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Tue 26 Feb 2008 05:04 PM

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Region among biggest foreign UK property buyers

Middle East investors accounted for 4% of overseas buyers in 2007, consultancy says.

Middle East investors were among biggest foreign buyers of luxury properties in London and the southeast of England last year, UK-based real estate consultancy Knight Frank said on Tuesday.

Knight Frank said investors from the Middle East accounted for around 4% of overseas buyers of properties between 1-2 million British pounds ($1.97-$3.94 million), behind Russia (5%) and Europe (11%).

The consultancy said the rise in global wealth was spurring an increase in UK property investment by high net worth individuals (HNWIs) looking to expand and diversify their investment porfolios.

It said investors from oil-rich economies such as those in the Middle East were expected to continue to play a prominent role in the UK property market in the future.

“Overall there is a realistic prospect that the emerging and commodity rich economies in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East will continue to expand with a concomitant increase in their populations of HNWIs,” Liam Bailey, head of residential research at Knight Frank, said in a statement.

Knight Frank said it had also seen an increase in UK property investment by HNWIs from Russia, Kazakhstan, India and South Korea.

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