Buying a London property is a prime investment opportunity for Hong Kong buyers – either as a pure investment or as a home. The potential is clear – London is an international hub for business and education and the UK’s stable political system and strong economy are also important factors.
New UK Visas for Hong Kong citizens
Now, with the ongoing political unrest in Hong Kong and the Chinese government imposing a new National Security Law on Hong Kong citizens, the UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has announced changes to immigration laws that will effectively offer British National Overseas citizens visas that allow them the right to work and study in the UK up to five years and eventually seek full British citizenship.
We noticed a shift in sentiment several months ago sparked by unrest in Hong Kong and we received a lot of new enquiries for properties completing this year. And since the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s‘commitment’ announcement in July, we have seen a surge in demand for London properties for BNO’s considering the possibility of a new life in London.
You can find more information on the new Hong Kong BNO Visa and Passport at Gov.uk website
UK Stamp Duty ‘holiday’ cuts purchase prices
As well as visa reforms, investors with foreign income are finding the weak pound means London property offers exceptional value while those who need to borrow will benefit from historically low interest rates. And, the current Stamp Duty ‘holiday’ until March 31st 2021 where there is no duty to pay up to £500,000, is further reducing the cost of buying a London property for anyone completing before the deadline.More details about this can be found in our temporary Stamp Duty ‘holiday’ savings blog.
Where are Hong Kong expats looking to invest?
Expats not living in the UK may not know London well and different areas vary considerably in price and in what they offer residents. Historically, prime central London has always been popular with Hong Kong investors; areas in Zone 1 such as Knightsbridge, Kensington, Belgravia and other prime locations such as Hampstead with their elegant, large period apartments and houses.
But the London skyline is changing and recently we’ve seen rapidly growing demand for homes in areas of large-scale regeneration. These offer exceptional value, with the potential for both capital growth and rental income. It’s clear that Hong Kong investors are diversifying and considering property in other zones where value and higher yields can be found.
East London is incredibly popular, particularly with younger buyers. Residential developments such as Marine Wharf situated across the River Thames from Canary Wharf, and the new Berkeley scheme at 250 City Road in Shoreditch are schemes of interest. While Nine Elms in Vauxhall, near Battersea Power Station, in Tube Zones 1 and 2, is a hugely successful residential quarter in its own right. Placemaking has taken on a new meaning here and Hong Kong investors are thinking long term so this ticks a lot of boxes for them.
This soaring demand isn’t just a trend we’ve noticed. UK newspaper The Times recently published an article on this growing phenomenon. Read it here
Helping investors find the right property
We are well positioned to help Hong Kong investors buy London property, helping them identify which opportunities are right for them and which areas suit their objectives. We opened our Hong Kong office in 1995 and have a locally employed team of multi-lingual professionals who work seamlessly with our London sales and lettings teams to help Hong Kong professionals buy property in London. They speak Mandarin, Cantonese and of course English, meeting our Hong Kong clients in our local office, streamlining the property investment process. Some of our clients have been with us for 30 years and now we are also looking after their children’s investments.
And with 16 branches across London plus our experience Hong Kong team, we have London covered.
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