Wealthy keep London property in their sights

BREAKING NEWS: More than 57 percent of overseas high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) name London real estate as their top target investment class, according to Cluttons International Private Capital Survey 2012 which has been published today in association with VPC Asia Pacific.London-property-night [Image: Luxuryhunter.co.uk]

Local HNWI investors who were surveyed in Kuala Lumpur identified Central London residential (pictured) as their primary offshore investment target, alongside those questioned in Singapore. HNWI in Bangkok ranked London behind Yangon (Myanmar), while Indonesian wealthy private investors were looking to Singaporean and Australian residential before considering London.

Global appetite for both London residential and commercial real estate assets has seen an upturn in the last 12 months with overseas investors (both institutional and individual) contributing almost 90 percent in recent commercial asset transactions.

However, headline reports of 'safe haven London throughout the global economic crisis' although not inaccurate should not be overplayed. According to Cluttons some 86 percent of HNWI pinpointing London as their top investment city already have strong ties to the UK, whether through second homes, children's education or expansion of existing investment portfolio. London has always been a solid investment choice.

A total of 71 percent of HNWI surveyed said they were planning investment activity in the next three- to six-months in their first choice target city. And at over two-thirds higher than last year, investors stated that the target city will be outside their domestic market.

Those well-seasoned Middle Eastern investors interviewed identified London as their first choice city. In particular, HNWI from Dubai and Manama (Bahrain) were continuing to look at prime Central London residential as the obvious target location.

Growing demand pressure on this scarce asset class will drive values up further. Some 57 percent of HNWI surveyed cited strong capital growth as the primary appeal; the rapid recovery of Central London residential from the impact of the global credit crunch is a key factor influencing investment decisions.

James Wong, Managing Director, VPC Asia Pacific in association with Cluttons, said: "This new survey takes a unique insight into the 'live' investment intentions of HNWI across the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions. Quite remarkably, 43 percent of these highly mobile investors state that the global financial crisis has had no impact on their view of London as a top investment target location. In fact, almost a third (29 percent) went on to claim that London is better-placed because of the Eurozone difficulties."

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