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Will London Property Activity Heat Up This Winter?

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United Kingdom  India  London  Knight Frank  Savills  Christmas  Chinese New Year  Foreign Property Investors 

Will London Property Activity Heat Up This Winter?

By - Friday 18 November 2011

This question is as easy to answer as it is nigh on impossible to do so. If you mean will London see a flurry of demand from UK residents buying to inhabit, the answer is almost certainly no, but if you take foreigners into the equation then the answer is almost certainly yes. So, that means that there will be overall, yes? Yes and no.

According to a consensus of data from larger agents including Knight Frank and Savills, foreign buyers currently make around 50% of property purchases in London. So even if they have a flurry, it will only be a 50% flurry. And in reality maybe not even that.

Indians have just overtaken the Chinese as dominant foreign buyers of London property. They have no reason, no more than any other foreigner has to buy more or less property during November and December than at any other time during the year.

Both countries now celebrate Christmas, but for very different reasons and in very different ways to us. Then there are the Middle Eastern buyers who do not celebrate Christmas at all. The dominant buyer grouping India celebrate Christmas very similar to the way we do, but don't people from all nationalities and cultures return home during times of festive and/or religious significance.

This is bound to hit sales of London property in the second half of December and the first half of January, if not for a wider window, and of course, the Chinese New Year falls on January 23rd 2012. If activity does drop off then bargains may present themselves for canny investors to pounce.

Of course this is 90% speculation and 10% educated guessery, as we have nothing to compare it to really if we're honest. In 2010 foreigners weren't buying 50% of property purchased in London, and in 2010 the sales burst at the end of the year was driven by the rise in stamp duty scheduled for the new year.

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