Big Ben is set to chime non-stop for three minutes to ring in the Olympic Games. (Photo/Xinhua)
With the Olympics Games about to open in London, savvy Chinese investors have been among those speculating in the city's realty market, causing a major rise in local housing prices. House prices in the UK have risen to such levels over the last ten years that many of the younger generation cannot afford to get their foot on the property ladder and are forced to live with their parents.
With a shortage of housing and difficulty gaining mortgages, a real estate price spike in London has resulted from speculation by buyers from overseas. Signs everywhere offer houses for lease, as their buyers bought them to rent them out. Scouting missions by speculators from mainland China entered the London realty market over the last couple of years.
They are joining in a trend that has seen London's housing prices almost double over the last ten years. Vashti Sperring, manager of John D Wood, a leading real estate agent in the British capital, reports that due to the instability of the eurozone, many with the money to do so have invested in London's realty market, notably people from China.
Another London real estate agent specified that buyers from mainland China investors are their favorite clients as they prefer to pay in cash and aren't too fussy about the price. Many Chinese clients make their purchase with a view to moving to the UK.
A report released by international real estate services organization Colliers International in March this year showed that 20% of new houses in London are bought by people from China.