London lure for Asian real estate investors: Knight Frank's Nicholas Holt

London lure for Asian real estate investors: Knight Frank's Nicholas Holt
London lure for Asian real estate investors: Knight Frank's Nicholas Holt

GUEST OBSERVER

The UK has long been a destination for Asian real estate investors, with the attraction of the strong liquidity, stable governance, transparency and clear title, meaning that investors from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand have all invested in bricks-and-mortar in the country.

With the decision to exit the European Union, for existing Asian property owners, the fall in the pound will impact the repatriation of any income returns, as well as the gains on any disposal.

Although there is likely to be more volatility in the market, ultimately most investors are looking to the long term – so will continue to hold their assets, in the hope that any short-term instability will eventually subside when more clarity of the UK’s role in Europe is determined.

The decision, however, could also present a buying opportunity, as the significant drop in the value of the pound, as in 2009, could lead to an uptick of interest by Asian investors, who, over the last few months have adopted a wait-and-see approach to the referendum – and will now see their buying power increase significantly.

Chinese, Singaporean and Hong Kong investors especially, looking at both residential and commercial properties – most likely in London – will be monitoring the market carefully and looking for opportunities to potentially increase their exposure over the coming weeks and months.

Nicholas Holt is head of research for Asia Pacific, Knight Frank and can be contacted here.

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Brexit Asian Investors

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