Residential buildings under construction in London. (Photo/CFP)
Buyers from China have been marked as one of the largest group of foreign investors in London's property market, targeting new-build properties. Figures released in July show that 27% of new properties in London were bought by Chinese nationals in the past year, reports the Chinese Weekly, a Chinese-language paper circulated in the United Kingdom.
The 27% accounted for 17% of the sector's total transaction volume, according to figures released by Savills, a UK-based real estate agent. Meanwhile, figures from Knight Frank, a London-based property consultancy, shows that buyers from China bought properties in the British capital worth up to US$266 million in the first half of the year. Chinese investors also purchased US$2.3 billion worth of property in London's central business district, the paper said.
The buying fever has attracted at least eight London property developers to open offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing in the first half of this year, while many Chinese buyers are reportedly interested in London properties worth more than £1 million (US$1.6 million), said Gary Kwok, CEO of iNewHome, a UK-based property developer.
Chinese buyers have boosted their demand for property in London worth over US$1.6 million since last September, said a staff member of Savills' Asia office, adding that even though there are only a select number of interested customers, the turnover rate is high. He said that 60% of the buyers purchased the properties as an investment and 40% for self-use. Many parents also look to buy properties for their children who study in the city.
According to a survey conducted by Savills, the majority of Chinese buyers are interested in units which have a water view and on a higher floor. They are willing to spend more for their own personal units, while they look for lower priced property for rental purposes.