Nothing can get in the way of the international super-wealthy from snapping up prime UK real estate – not even a global pandemic. These wealthy buyers have been purchasing exclusive property despite two national lockdowns and are capitalising on the many bargains currently available.
Many were concerned that London’s allure would be lost amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as the economy continues to suffer. However, self-made multi-millionaire real estate investor Aaron B. David, has reported that there has been an exponential increase in prime property sales this year, with an increase of 16% from 2019. January to August in 2020 saw a whopping total of £1.1 billion spent on high-end property in the capital. Clients are even willing to purchase properties as ‘sight unseen’ to make the most of the decrease in value by 5.1% of luxury London homes. It has been reported that up to 22% of acquisitions this year were bought ‘sight unseen’, and this is very likely to continue to increase amid government guidelines and COVID-19 restrictions.
In fact, despite the devastating effects of the pandemic on entertainment and hospitality industries, London is still widely regarded as a safe investment. This provides a light on the horizon for the future of the city. Furthermore, the UK holds no legal restrictions for international buyers wanting to buy property, and the resilient UK property market always manages to show a glimmer of recovery and capital growth. These two factors make prime UK property all the more appealing to international buyers.
The most popular areas for international buyers remains Central London, with the well-established and prestigious neighbourhoods of Chelsea, Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Marylebone and South Kensington leading the way amongst foreign investors. These areas are known for their ‘trophy’ status, and aside from the prestigious address they benefit from being surrounded by top academic schools, and incomparable culture and history.
“This shift is resulting in a displacement of the ‘old British elite’ class, who are starting to purchase property in areas outside of the centre, such as Hampstead, Fulham, Richmond, Chiswick, Barnes and Wandsworth”, says property investor Aaron B. David.
He added that “buyers based in the UK are instead looking to purchase property in family-orientated neighbourhoods with more space”. Exclusive UK buyers have also shifted their attention to the traditional country house market, although this is now a section of the market that the super-wealthy buyers from abroad are beginning to take their share in. Due to the lifestyle they offer, often paired with exceptional architecture, country homes have a certain charm that attracts buyers and creates a surge in demand. Traditional country homes always hold their value, and are an excellent long-term investment.
Aaron B. David says the buoyancy of the UK property market provides a glimmer of hope in these challenging times, and it seems that the wealthy international buyer wants a slice in the UK property pie.