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International investors in market for central London property

Confidence returns to London Property Market

By Maurice Shasha  //  Mon 5th December 2016
Investors from Asia and the Middle East snap up central London property after pound falls in value following Britain’s vote to leave the EU
Overseas investors from the Middle East and Asia are helping to restore confidence in the central London property market.

After Sterling suffered record falls following the EU referendum result and has yet to recover to an significant extent, foreign investors are buying residential and commercial property at an effective discount of up to 15%.

China Vanke, the largest home-builder on China’s mainland, paid £115m for a Mayfair office block at the start of the month.

Vanke is among a slew of Asian property firms that are taking advantage of a post-Brexit currency window to secure UK property investments, reports the South China Morning Post.

Hong Kong property developer SRE Group also agreed to buy Société Générale’s London headquarters for £84.5m at the start of the month.

“The property represents a rare opportunity for SRE Group to acquire a 1.7-acre freehold property in a prime London location with secured rental income in the medium term,” the company told the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The French bank will lease back the 170,000 square foot building until it move to new premises under construction in Canary Wharf in 2020.

Saudi buyers, meanwhile, were reported to be among a consortium of Middle East investors that bid around £1bn for Grosvenor House Hotel.

A private Middle Eastern buyer has also exchanged contracts to acquire 5 King William Street for £90m.

Confidence is also returning to central London’s residential property market. The number of home viewings in London’s wealthiest areas has risen by almost 50% since the EU referendum.

However, the market for homes in central London is also being driven by international buyers, according to figures from the data provider LonRes, which says about half of buyers are from overseas.

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