“Over the last eight years Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia have dominated the international buyer profile in London. I expect this to continue over the next year, but I think we will also see more buyers coming from mainland China. Mainland Chinese buyers have always understood the US market – the US economy is one they aspire to and there are huge US manufacturing companies everywhere, providing education opportunities which we have lacked in the UK. However, over the last decade lots of developers have made a continuous effort to host exhibitions and conferences in China, which are beginning to bear fruit and Chinese buyers now have a good understanding of the market here. After the stock market jitters in China earlier this year, people are looking to diversify their assets and less money is going into the local stock market.
“Far Eastern buyers are generally most interested in value and like areas where capital growth can be displayed and good rental yields can be generated. Parts of zone 2 and especially zones 3 and 4, where prices are still under 1,000 per sq. ft. are the sweet spots for overseas investors. They like new districts – a good example is E16 – it’s right next to the Chinese Business Centre and values are currently hovering around £800 per sq. ft.”
John Morley, Founder and Managing Director of JOHNS&CO