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The number of international buyers buying properties in prime central London has reached its highest level since the second half of 2012, according to Hamptons International’s buyer and seller survey.

Some 57 per cent of homes bought in central London in the second half of 2018 were purchased by international buyers, it was revealed by the recent data released by Hampton’s International.

Foreign buyers picked up an additional 36 per cent of homes in Greater London, which is up from 31 per cent in the second half of 2017 and a 15 per cent rise when compared with the last six months of 2015.

Talk Property – MPU

There was also a significant 14 per cent increase in the number of homes in Greater London purchased by EU buyers, which is up from 10 per cent in pre-EU referendum 2015, according to Hamptons International’s buyer and seller survey.

A drop-off in UK buyers

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International said: “The proportion of homes bought by international buyers in London hit the highest level in six years. The increase was caused by a drop-off in UK buyers and a 9 per cent year-on-year rise in EU buyers.

“Sterling’s weakness, making it cheaper for many international buyers, seems to be outweighing Brexit uncertainty when it comes to foreign buyers making a decision on where to buy a home.

Beveridge also pointed out that a property that would have cost an EU buyer £1m in H1 2016 effectively cost £124,000 less in H2 2018. This has been due to the depreciation in value of sterling.

Growing foreign interest

Over the past year, the proportion of homes bought by buyers from India rose 3 per cent, while interest from Russia and Hong Kong buyers increased 1 per cent.

Martin Bamford, chartered financial planner at Informed Choice, said: “International buyers have long propped up values for the London prime property market.

“Property in many parts of central London have become too expensive for most UK citizens, making wealthy foreign buyers the main audience, especially for new developments which are often marketed to these individuals.”

He also said that it was interesting to note that overseas appetite for London property doesn’t appear to have waned in light of a looming Brexit, suggesting that foreign buyers are securing their UK foothold now before the end of March.

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Jim Kersey
Jim focuses on the socio-economic impact of housing. His reporting for Property Notify often touches on topics such as changes in sentiment among investors in various housing sectors, as well as the impact of various developments on the average person.

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