Overseas investors in London – snapshot

New figures show that overseas investors accounted for 13 per cent of all property sales in London between 2014 and 2016.

The figures, which were gathered by the London School of Economics and University of York on behalf of the Mayor of London, showed that foreign buyers are far more likely to target the central areas of the city rather than the outskirts.

Sixteen per cent of all transactions in inner London were made by foreign buyers, compared to just 6 per cent in the outskirts.

However, the report debunked a long-held myth that many foreign owned homes in the UK capital are left vacant. Less than 1 per cent of all homes owned by a foreign investor were actually empty, the report found. It suggested that the idea behind there being such a high vacancy rate for foreign-owned properties could be down to a slight lag between a new build property or building being completed and it then being filled by tenants.

It was only in the prime London market (houses worth more than £5 million) that it was more common to see empty properties for at least part of the year. However, foreign buyers were responsible for only 1 per cent of all purchases made over this amount. Just over half of the sales made to foreign buyers between 2014 to 2016 were in the £200,000 to £500,000 price bracket, with 33 per cent between £500,001 and £1 million, and 16 per cent over £1 million.

The report shows that the majority of overseas buyers came from Hong Kong (28 per cent), followed by Singapore (20 per cent) and Malaysia (7.5 per cent).

Article published 19th June 2017