London prime properties snapped up by American and Asian buyers

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Dollar-led buyers are snapping up prime London properties as sterling sinks to a 28-month low, according to The London Resolution.

The company – which specialises in residential property acquisition for high-net-worth (HNW) and ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) owner-occupiers and investors – found the London prime property market has shifted noticeably since the Brexit result was announced three years ago.

“This, along with a combination of other factors has considerably weakened the British pound. Against the stronger dollar, London property is perceivably better value than in previous years,” Marcus Bradbury-Ross of The London Resolution commented.

He said that while clients have traditionally been a range of UK or European citizens, buyers in the Americas and the Far East are consistently preferring to buy in London, effectively taking their place.

“Despite current questions over Britain’s place in Europe, the thoroughly democratic UK will remain relatively stable in the foreseeable future. Plus, the transparent legal system makes it far simpler to purchase property in the UK than in other European countries,” Bradbury-Ross added.

“Affluent buyers are also taking advantage of London being the best-connected city in Europe – using their London pad to fly to Geneva, Paris and Monaco for example. Once you’re in London you have the choice of Heathrow, Gatwick, City, Luton or Stansted airports to fly from – all highly accessible from Central London.”

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However, the market is changing from one led traditionally by UHNWI with budgets of £10 million-plus to ‘ordinary’ people with budgets of £2-5 million. More people than ever are considered affluent; globalisation has meant that someone with a couple of million in Hong Kong, for example, is able to entertain the idea of owning a home in London.

Bradbury-Ross continued: “Where the UK is right now, and continued global geopolitical conditions, means London will continue to be a great place for dollar-led buyers to invest.”

“But of course, being based in Asia or the Americas makes it hard for a buyer to understand the nuances of the London property market. London is exceptionally hard to navigate as it is made up of many individual London ‘villages’.”

“Knowing which village is right for you and your family, whether it’s Chelsea or Marylebone that is in ascendancy or stagnation, which nearby tube stations add best value, where the best schools are, or even which side of the street is best to buy on, can mean a vast difference in terms of return on investment,” he concluded.

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