Throughout 2022, we’ve seen growing demand for homes in London from both Hong Kong and Chinese nationals. Firstly, Hong Kong professionals continue to move to the UK using the government’s BNO visa scheme and secondly, Chinese students have again been taking up places at London universities after more than two years of Covid lockdowns.
Colindale in North London is sought-after amongst Hong Kong expats and St George development Beaufort Park is a real hotspot, with a thriving Chinese community. Its popularity has continued to grow throughout 2022 – around 40% of our Beaufort Park branch’s tenants are from Hong Kong.
The number of Hong Kong and Chinese buyers purchasing homes in Colindale through us nearly doubled in 2022 compared to 2021. In 2021 we concluded a total of 59 sales in Colindale, 17 of which were to Chinese or Hong Kong buyers. In 2022, we concluded a total of 62 sales, of which 30 were to Chinese or Hong Kong buyers.
So we’ve seen a significant rise in enquiries from Hong Kong professionals this year and most have been cash buyers, and therefore unaffected by the rise in UK interest rates, so demand remains strong. Since January, around 65% of our sales at Beaufort Park in Colindale have been to Hong Kong buyers.
Typically, budgets are similar to 2021, with most looking to buy either a one bed flat for £300-400k, a two bed for £450-£550k or a three bed for £600-£750k.
October saw the first of our new property investment events for Hong Kong buyers and renters, providing information and advice to help them to settle into the area. These seminars have been a great success and we plan to hold more in 2023.
This year Chinese students have been returning to London universities, with Chinese nationals the second most common nationality, after India, granted sponsorship study visas (in the year to June 2022), with 115,056 visas granted.
Chinese parents have found it difficult to find a rental property for their student children so are buying instead, planning to keep the property long-term, either as a rental investment or for their own use. Typically, they’re looking for two or three bed flats near universities, with budgets of £1m to £2m.
Renting remains the first option for Hong Kongers arriving in the UK and typically they will rent for 6–12 months before buying. This year, applicants have increased their budgets, often due to the shortage of good rental properties in London’s highly competitive market.
Rents have increased from £900 per month for a studio to £1100 per month, from £1200per month for a one bed flat to £1300-1500 per month and from £1600 per month for a two bed to £1800-£2200 per month. Chinese students renting in London opt for areas such as East London, including 250 City Road in Shoreditch, London Dock and Royal Arsenal Riverside, as well as Nine Elms, White City, Fulham Reach and Sovereign Court in Hammersmith.
2022 has seen many Chinese and Hong Kong nationals move to London. If you are planning a move in 2023, please contact me, Penny Cheung, and I can help you with your property search in London.
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