Date Published 15 March 2013
As well as ongoing interest from overseas buyers investing in the Prime Central London market, The Buying Solution is seeing an increase of UK expats repatriating to the Home Counties as a result of the weakening pound and strengthening London property market.
Nick Mead, Associate in the Home Counties at The Buying Solution, explains:
`The weakening pound is not only benefitting overseas nationals looking to invest in the UK property market, but those UK nationals repatriating. We’re seeing a number of buyers who work in finance and have been posted overseas for a few years returning to Britain and wanting to purchase a family home in the Home Counties. Such people often leave the UK as a couple, renting out their London flat as part of the process, and return married with young children 3-5 years later. They will have been remunerated in the local currency, and as such, benefit from Sterling’s weakness. At the same time, the increase in property prices in London means that when they return, they can also cash in on the strengthened London market by selling their property. These buyers – many of whom want to purchase in the Home Counties for schooling – are exceptionally motivated due to the pressure on finding a home for their return.`
Rachel Thompson, Associate in the London team, adds: `In London, we continue to see a strong demand from the international buyer, fuelled by the weak pound. Those buying now are benefitting from a devalued currency, low interest rates and, in comparison to some countries, low property taxes. Because of this, to some, property prices are up to 30% cheaper now than they were in 2007/08, despite Prime Central London property prices being 17% higher. Property is a tangible asset that can be held for the long-term, and when the pound strengthens again, overseas investors will benefit from both the likely uplift in the market and the currency.`