Fri 02 Sep 2022
Paul Bennett, Director
Did you know records suggest almost half of prime central London’s property sales in the first half of 2022 were to international buyers? It’s a remarkable recovery after two years of Covid restrictions, with travel back to its fluid best and currency fluctuations making London a global property buyer’s dream.
The currency advantage is of particular interest to would be sellers struggling to reconcile the cost-of-living crisis in the UK with potential prime London property buyers. For many international parties, it is cheaper to purchase a property in the capital city now, when compared to 12 or 24 months ago. Take, for instance, an American buyer. The current strength of the Dollar means a £1 million property in St. John’s Wood is around £66,000 cheaper in 2022 when compared to 2021 - and the saving is exclusively down to the weak pound.
Elsewhere, the Middle East’s most active property investors are turning their attention back to London thanks to currency perks. The Dirham has hit a two-year low against the pound, with money stretching much further. In fact, Barratt London claim the exchange rate is ‘currently close to being the best it has ever been for the Middle East investor looking at the London real estate market’.
Although it’s a cliché every time it appears in a blog or article, Behr & Butchoff agrees that London is a safe haven when it comes to investment. Our broadly stable political landscape and robust homeownership laws are often at odds with elsewhere in the world. And while many Brits are grappling with the immediacy of rising interest rates, increasingly expensive bills and economic uncertainty, many international buyers are immune to such forces and are using liquid assets accumulated during Covid lockdowns to gain tangible investments overseas.
London has enduring, long-term appeal, which ensures there is always a steady stream of buyers – whatever the domestic market conditions. Take, for example, house prices. The consensus is that the rate at which they are rising in the UK will cool in the coming months, before plateauing and potentially falling.
In prime London, however, estate agents agree that there is no sign of property prices slowing down just yet. One estimate claims house prices in the capital will actually rise by a further £27,000 by the end of 2022. It’s an increase that reassuringly bucks the national trends, creating a London microclimate that continues to attract global investors.
There’s no doubt that demand in the St. John’s Wood area is outstripping supply so if you’re considering selling a property you own, there will be a purchaser waiting. Talk to Behr & Butchoff’s estate agents today - we can book you in for a no-obligation valuation at a time that suits you.