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Hong Kong homeowners most prevalent nation in 17 London boroughs

The latest property market analysis by London lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, has revealed which segment of the international market is more prevalent in each London borough, as well as a number of major cities outside of London.

The research looked at the total number of residential property titles registered to overseas individuals in each borough, before breaking this figure down by nationality to reveal which nation had the biggest presence in each pocket of the market.

The market analysis by Benham and Reeves shows that Hong Kong buyers currently have the biggest property footprint within the London market.

They account for the highest proportion of residential homes registered to foreign addresses in a total of 17 boroughs, with Barking and Dagenham home to the highest percentage of Hong Kong homes, with the nation accounting for 31% of all foreign registered properties.

Hong Kongers also top the table in Tower Hamlets (26%), Newham (24%), Lewisham (23%), Hackney (23%), Greenwich (22%), Southwark (21%), Islington (20%), Brent (19%), Hammersmith and Fulham (16%), Camden (16%), Barnet (15%), Croydon (13%), Waltham Forest (12%), Redbridge (11%), Wandsworth (11%) and Ealing (8%),

Jersey nationals are the next most prevalent in the London market, accounting for the most foreign registered properties in a total of four boroughs including Hillingdon (14%), Westminster (13%), Kensington and Chelsea (10%) and Richmond (10%), as well as the City of London (17%).

Cypriots ranked top in Enfield (18%) and Haringey (13%), while Singapore nationals topped the table in Havering (49%) and Hounslow (75%).

The UAE accounted for the most foreign registered homes in Sutton (22%) and Bromley (17%), while in Bexley it’s the United States (14%), in Harrow it’s Saudi Arabia (11%), in Lambeth it’s the Netherlands (16%), in Merton it’s Guernsey (10%) and in Kingston it’s China (12%).

Outside of London, Hong Kong nationals also accounted for the highest percentage of foreign registered homes in Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool, while the Irish topped the table in Sheffield and Nottingham and Jersey ranked top in Newcastle and Bristol.

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented:

“International homeowners form a considerable part of the UK property market and London, in particular, has suffered due to a drop in demand as a result of Covid travel restrictions.

You’d need only look at the variety of nationalities that are most prevalent in each borough to see how important this segment of homeowners is to the London market, especially Hong Kong buyers who have been investing in the UK market in their droves since buy-to-let was launched in mid-nineties, with this interest being bolstered further still with the introduction of the BNO visa scheme.

Now that UK travel restrictions have been lifted, we expect to see an uplift in international demand throughout the remainder of the year, which, in turn, will help boost what has been a somewhat beleaguered London market in recent months.”

Location Total overseas ownership Leading ownership country Leading ownership country number Leading country as a % of total overseas ownership
Manchester 4,793 Hong Kong 1,270 26%
Birmingham 3,698 Hong Kong 728 20%
Newcastle 1,021 Jersey 191 19%
Nottingham 1,663 Ireland 243 15%
Bristol 1,288 Jersey 185 14%
Leeds 2,670 Hong Kong 379 14%
Liverpool 7,925 Hong Kong 1,097 14%
Sheffield 2,183 Ireland 241 11%
London borough Total overseas ownership Leading ownership country Leading ownership country number Leading country as a % of total overseas ownership
Hounslow 4,923 Singapore 3,692 75%
Havering 1,724 Singapore 838 49%
Barking and Dagenham 311 Hong Kong 95 31%
Tower Hamlets 7,547 Hong Kong 1,959 26%
Newham 3,045 Hong Kong 741 24%
Lewisham 1,672 Hong Kong 378 23%
Hackney 2,494 Hong Kong 562 23%
Sutton 763 United Arab Emirates 171 22%
Greenwich 2,022 Hong Kong 446 22%
Southwark 3,796 Hong Kong 793 21%
Islington 2,618 Hong Kong 527 20%
Brent 1,601 Hong Kong 308 19%
Enfield 620 Cyprus 111 18%
Bromley 2,915 United Arab Emirates 508 17%
City of London 1,378 Jersey 237 17%
Lambeth 3,483 Netherlands 547 16%
Hammersmith and Fulham 3,533 Hong Kong 554 16%
Camden 3,666 Hong Kong 570 16%
Barnet 2,579 Hong Kong 397 15%
Bexley 299 United States 41 14%
Hillingdon 990 Jersey 135 14%
Haringey 961 Cyprus 128 13%
Westminster 12,104 Jersey 1,564 13%
Croydon 1,228 Hong Kong 155 13%
Kingston upon Thames 831 China 98 12%
Waltham Forest 570 Hong Kong 66 12%
Harrow 1,003 Saudi Arabia 112 11%
Redbridge 588 Hong Kong 65 11%
Wandsworth 5,110 Hong Kong 542 11%
Kensington and Chelsea 7,073 Jersey 741 10%
Richmond upon Thames 1,232 Jersey 126 10%
Merton 1,018 Guernsey 101 10%
Ealing 1,754 Hong Kong 147 8%

Source data: The Centre for Public Data and the Land Registry


About the Author

Established in 1958, Benham and Reeves is one of London’s oldest, independently owned property lettings and sales agents. With specialism in residential sales, corporate lettings and property management in prime areas of London, the company operates from 21 prominently located branches and 15 international offices.