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Chinese Investors Buoy London Property - Who Is Next?

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Chinese Investors Buoy London Property - Who Is Next?

By - Tuesday 15 November 2011

Foreign buyers have become a dominant force in the London property market, pushing up demand and pushing up prices. Over the last 12 months Chinese buyers have become known as the prominent buyer demographic in the city, first replacing Russian and Middle Eastern buyers in some areas in early 2011 according to Savills.

However according to Savills this is no longer the case, as buyers from India are now dominant, followed by buyers from Pakistan.

According to Savills Russian buyers spent some £429 million pound on 266 properties in London in 2010. Indians purchased £290 million worth of London properties in 2010. But according to a report by Knight Frank in June this year Chinese buyers had spent £120 million on London properties in just 2 months. At the same time Knight Frank said that they believed Chinese buyers to be responsible for 1 in 3 purchases of newly built properties in the capital.

Just a few months earlier, we have a statement from Savills, that Chinese buyers are responsible for only 5% of all foreign purchases in London in the £500k-£1 million bracket, although they do say that Chinese buyers have replaced Russian and Middle Eastern buyers as the busiest demographic in some areas of London, and that their presence is growing. Over the next few months Savills would come to agree with knight Frank on the dominance of Chinese buyers on the foreign-buyer scene, we know this because they now clearly state that Indians have overtaken Chinese buyers to take top spot.

“There there are more buyers coming from India and Pakistan than China – and they’re spending more,” the Savills report said. “This group is now the most important to the London market among the emerging economies.”

Which buyers will replace Indians is anyone's guess. Singapore's property market saw blistering growth in the last 18 months, and is now thought to have peaked. Undoubtedly many Singaporean investors will have pockets full of cash to spend, but it is doubtful that they could match the Chinese, Indians or even Russians in number. Time will tell.

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