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August 2017

EU investors cautious on Prime London property

Published: Friday 18 August 2017

By David Fuller 
New figures show that the number of European investors purchasing properties in prime areas of Central London has fallen.

According to new data released by real estate investment adviser London Central Portfolio, European investors, who were the second largest buyers just two years ago, accounted only for 7 percent of the sales over the last 12 months.

This is part of an overall slowdown which has seen property sales in central London fall by 41 percent in the first quarter of this year.

This is “in large part due to significant increases in taxation,” explained Naomi Heaton, CEO of London Central Portfolio, in a statement, but also due to a “wait-and-see attitude” from European investors as Brexit talks take place.

“As the group most impacted by the outcome of the UK's exit from the European Union, a bounce back amongst these investors will very much depend on the result of on-going negotiations," Heaton said.
However, while fewer European investors are entering the prime London market, there has been a jump in the number of Indian purchasers interested in buying luxury property in the UK’s capital.

Indian investors are now the second biggest buyers of London prime properties, behind those from the Middle East, according to London Central Portfolio.

Buyers from India represent 22 percent of property sales made in central London over the past year, an increase from 5 percent just two years ago.

The surge is driven by changes in Indian laws and a weaker sterling.

And, according to Heaton, while interest from EU investors, and indeed those from the UK, may have dropped, London remains popular with many international buyers.

“Despite two years of slower price growth due to tax headwinds and the UK's Brexit vote, Prime Central London has remained attractive to international buyers as a safe haven asset class with the rule of law and proper title to property," she said. 
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