People living outside the U.K. accounted for about half of all new home purchases in London’s best neighborhoods as affluent investors sought a safe haven from turmoil in the Middle East and Europe’s debt crisis.
Foreign-born buyers, including those living in the U.K., made 69 percent of new-home purchases in London’s prime areas in the two years through June, while those living abroad bought 49 percent of the homes, Knight Frank LLP said in a report today. About 28 percent of those who bought central London homes worth 1 million pounds ($1.6 million) or more in the year through June don’t live in the U.K., the broker said.
“The majority of demand for new-build property in London from overseas remains focused on the relatively small and concentrated market made up of the central London postcodes,” Liam Bailey, London-based Knight Frank’s global head of residential research, said in the report.
Overseas investors are buying real estate in the U.K. capital to preserve wealth as political and economic tension roils their homes markets. Savills Plc (SVS) and Knight Frank forecast in July that luxury-home values in districts such as Mayfair, Belgravia and Knightsbridge would rise 6 percent this year.
Most of the overseas buyers are from Europe, the Middle East and Russia, Knight Frank said, without being more specific. British residents bought 85 percent to 90 percent of all new homes sold in Greater London in the two years through June, the broker said.
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