More locals investing in London properties

KUALA LUMPUR: The number of local investors buying properties in London has increased significantly since the end of 2009, said an official from Henry Butcher Real Estate Sdn Bhd.

The official said that the increase can be attributed to rising property prices in Singapore and Australia, two popular investment destinations for Malaysians, and the weakened pound sterling.

Henry Butcher started marketing London properties, including The Heron apartments in Central London and Mojo Apartments in East London, to Malaysians in February 2009.

Overall, the response for London projects has been good with a “healthy transaction rate,” said the official, adding that most buyers are investors familiar with London.

Henry Butcher’s latest offering is Kew Bridge Apartments from developer St George. Situated on the banks of River Thames, adjacent to the London Heritage site of Kew Gardens, the mixed-used development comprises 164 apartments (one to three bedrooms) and penthouses set around a European-style public piazza with landscaped gardens and squares, as well as a new riverside bar.

The development is in an upmarket area and a good buy as there are not many new developments in the more matured West London, said the official, and added that estimated the rental yield here to be between 5% and 5.5%.

“The St George brand has been very well received by investors in Malaysia as they fully recognise our reputation for building high quality apartments, with a superior specification, in superb locations," said Ian Dobie, managing director of St George West London in a press statement.

"With interest rates as low as they are in the UK, Kew Bridge offers investors a fantastic chance to realise some very attractive returns and we are delighted to be able to offer this beautifully landscaped riverside development exclusively to our Malaysia customers,” Dobie added. 

The apartments feature comfort cooling, natural stone bathrooms, and extensive facilities including include 24-hour concierge and a residents only fitness suite. Size ranges from 409 sq ft to 2,236 sq ft, while prices start from £279,850 (RM1.37 million).

The 999-year leasehold development is expected to be completed in stages from spring 2010 onwards.

The Kew Bridge Apartments will be launched on August 21 and 22 at Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
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