British homes top priorities for Hong Kong buyers | David Sapsted

Estate agents and home builders in the UK are bracing for a further surge in buying from Hong Kong citizens.

Hong Kongers are already the largest group of foreign homeowners in London and the recent fall in the value of the pound against the dollar portends a ‘substantial’ increase in purchases from the former British colony, estate agents say world Savills and Knight Frank.And Barratt Developments, one of the UK’s largest homebuilders, announced this week that it had appointed JLL, another international estate agent, to be its sales and marketing agency in Hong Kong due to growing demand.

Why are Hongkongers looking for property in the UK?

Since Beijing imposed tough new security laws two years ago, demand for overseas accommodation from Hong Kongers has increased, not only in Britain but, to a lesser extent, in Canada and in Australia.In response to the security crackdown, the UK government has announced a fast-track route to settling in Britain for holders of BN(O) passports in Hong Kong. The most recent figures from the Home Office show there have been more than 104,000 applications under the scheme so far.The search for homes abroad was further encouraged by the widespread outbreak of Covid-19 in Hong Kong and the strict lockdown measures that followed.

Falling pound value boosts UK home purchases in Hong Kong

And now the pound has fallen to its lowest level in two years against the dollar amid a sluggish global economy. Nina Coulter, UK board director and residential development sales manager at Savills, told the South China Morning Post: “This significant drop in the value of the pound is making homes in the UK more attractive to buyers. from Hong Kong.“Whenever there is a 5% or more drop in the value of the pound against the dollar, we tend to see a 10% or more increase in demand from Hong Kong buyers for homes in London. , and the level of transactions increases significantly.”Felix Cheung, sales manager at JLL International Residential in Hong Kong, added that while higher interest rates in the UK may deter some, for many Hong Kongers this was offset by the fall in the pound sterling. .“The impact of the decline in the value of the pound outweighs the increase in interest rates in the UK,” he said.

Hong Kong buyers pay close attention to movements in global financial markets

Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, told the paper that UK monetary officials were walking a fine line as they tried to balance rising consumer prices with pressures economic. As a result, he felt the Bank of England may not be able to continue raising interest rates in the coming months.“Hong Kong buyers are well-informed and tend to pay close attention to movements in global financial markets,” he said. “The currency discount offered in the UK since the Brexit vote has therefore been a significant driver of demand, and any current or future weakness in the pound will have the same effect.”

London particularly attracts home buyers from Hong Kong

Meanwhile, Steve Mariner, sales director at Barratt Homes, told Business Insider: “We are seeing an influx of buyers from Hong Kong putting down roots in the UK, particularly in the capital and surrounding Home Counties. , and we know that JLL will be well placed. advising clients on the best options available.Mandy Wong, head of international residential at JLL Hong Kong, said Hong Kong residents are “rekindling their passion for UK property investments” and the agency is seeing many buyers looking to invest in London, especially , to benefit from the strong growth of the city. capital growth potential.“Barratt Developments has an unrivaled reputation for building exceptional homes in the UK capital and beyond,” she said.“With a range of townhouse and apartment styles available in its portfolio at accessible prices, we expect demand to be high and look forward to providing such a variety of options to our vast network of customers in Hong Kong.”

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