London sees surge in number of US buyers

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There has been a substantial increase in the number of buyers from the United States in London and they spending an average £7.3 million, a new analysis has found.

Indeed, buyers from across the pond are the second highest ranking group investing in real estate so far in 2019, according to research from international property firm Knight Frank.

Its analysis of purchaser data going back a decade in the prime central London residential market confirms that on average US buyers comprised the fifth largest source of international demand.

Their market share declined to a low of seventh place in 2014. However, more recently a combination of rising global investment interest from high-net-worth US buyers and the weak pound following the Brexit vote have propelled US buyers up the rankings, reaching fourth place in 2018 and second place in 2019 to date, behind Chinese buyers.

As their share of the prime London market has surged, so too has their spending power, from an average £5 million spend over the past decade to £7.3 million in 2019 so far, making American buyers the fifth highest major spender behind Russians at £9.1 million, Germans at £9.6 million, Turkish at £10.8 million and buyers from Saudi Arabia at £13.4 million.

‘US buyers have been long term players in the prime London residential market. While the weak pound has undoubtedly aided the recent surge in demand from dollar based purchaser, the real driver has been the strength of the London economy over the past two years,’ said Liam Bailey, global head of research at Knight Frank.

‘Not only has Brexit failed to have any impact, but over this period London has taken the dominant share of US corporate investment in Europe, leading to a significant uptick in demand for prime property from relocating US employees, entrepreneurs and business owners, especially from the tech sector,’ he added.

Marylebone, south of Regent’s Park, is the most popular location for US buyers, followed by Mayfair, then Chelsea, Islington and Belgravia.

CIT, the developers behind Regent’s Crescent, London’s only Grade 1 listed new build overlooking Regent’s Park, have seen the uptick in demand from US buyers attracted by the development’s combination of enchanting and historical importance, original design, new build quality and location.

‘We have experienced high levels of interest from the North American market. Buyers are attracted to the building’s traditional Regency grandeur, proximity to Regent’s Park and its unique listed new build offering and as a result, circa 30% of the units sold to date have gone to American buyers,’ said Chris Richmond, head of sales at CIT.

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