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Asians and Britons third-largest buyers in Central London

SINGAPORE: Asians and UK buyers tied as the third-largest buyers in central London, according to Black Brick Property Solutions LLP.

Out of 35 nationalities, Africans formed the majority of buyers at 43.7%, followed by Middle-Eastern buyers at 17.1%, Asians and the UK (10% each).

“New developments such as The Lancaster’s opposite Hyde Park have been popular with Malaysian clients who like the security and facilities offered by these type of new luxury developments,” said Camilla Dell, founder of Black Brick.

Malaysian investors’ favourite postcodes include W8 and W14 Kensington, and W2 Bayswater. Bayswater appeals to Malaysians due to the high concentration of Malaysian restaurants. It’s also near Heathrow Express in Paddington, allowing residents convenient access to the London Heathrow Airport.

Some 68% of Black Brick’s Asian clients are Malaysians, followed by Singapore (25%) and Hong Kong (6%). Half of the Asian clients are investors, and the rest house buyers.

This year, the average budget for investors is a little over £1.4 million (RM7.54 million), while the average owner-occupier budget is £2.92 million.

“It’s not surprising that our PCL property investment clients have chosen to stay under the £2 million threshold. We have always advised them to buy several smaller units rather than invest a large sum into one property as it is too high a risk with fewer tenants for large family homes compared with one- and two-bedroom flats,” said Dell.

“[This investment trend] is also to keep out of the higher stamp duty bracket and possible mansion tax next year. However, over time, some of our investment clients are buying entire freehold residential blocks for between £5 million and £20 million. This allows complete control over the way a building is managed as well as flexibility on future exit strategies such as [a combination of] of selling, renting and retaining some units.”

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on December 5, 2014.

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