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Overseas Investors Bought Half New Central London Homes

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.