Tuesday, 20 September 2011

London Property ‘in crisis’ as Foreigners buy Property

Britain will soon become a nation of tenants as huge deposits, high house prices and strict lending criteria combine to leave millions unable to climb onto the property ladder. Meanwhile foreign investors are buying up large chucks of London real estate as they seek a haven for their wealth amid the increasing risk of a global recession.

Britain’s housing market is “in crisis” as millions are forced to rent and the government must urgently act to increase the supply of homes, an alarming new report by Oxford Economics warned last month.

The housing study, commissioned by the National Housing Federation (NHF) warned that home ownership in England will fall over the next decade to the lowest since the mid-1980s as property ownership remains out of reach for many. It predicts that the proportion of people living in owner-occupied homes will decline from its 73 percent peak in 2001 to just 64 percent in 2021.

In London, it predicts that the majority of people will rent property, with home ownership in the capital falling to just 44 percent by 2021. That means around six out of every 10 Londoners will live in rented accommodation.

Meanwhile, the average house price looks set to rise by 21.3 percent over the next five years. The group, which represents housing associations in England, says a chronic shortage of housing is to blame. Only 105 000 homes were built in England in 2010/11, the lowest level since the 1920s.

“Home ownership is increasingly becoming the preserve of the wealthy and, in parts of the country like London, the very wealthy,” says NHF chief executive David Orr.

Adding even more upward price pressure is the fact that wealthy foreign buyers have flocked to London in record numbers, buying up large chunks of property in the city’s most desirable neighbourhoods. The number of international buyers viewing prime central London properties increased by 23 percent in the three months through July, as the increasing risk of a global recession prompted investors to seek a haven for their wealth.

“We’ve had the US debt crisis, the eurozone debt crisis and financial market turmoil but none of these issues have touched London’s property market,” says Mike Smuts, managing director of Smuts & Taylor, a South African investment firm that specialises in helping rich South Africans buy property in London.

Smuts, who first predicted in February 2010 that Britain was fast becoming a nation of tenants, says that although Russian, Chinese, Indian and buyers from the Middle East account for most of the foreign purchases of London properties, wealthy South Africans have also been very active.

“Since the Reserve Bank relaxed exchange controls last October we have seen a large influx of clients who are looking for safe-haven investments amid the financial market turmoil and the alarming calls locally for nationalisation and the redistribution of land without compensation,” he says. “London property is fast becoming the ‘Swiss bank account’ of the 21st century.”


serviced apartments city of London said...

With no offense to you, the title doesn't make sense. I don't know if you pinpoint any particular country by 'foreigner', but people nowadays are clever. They invest wisely. Myself for example, whenever I visit London, I stay in serviced apartments city of London, because they offer value-for-money service. But I get rich someday and want to show it off, I'll definitely purchase a palace in London. I guess everyone is having the same thought.

Property Buying Agents London said...

London Properties are an investment for future and hence foreigners buy these properties as an asset..But the people in London also wish in buying a property in London and I guess, the buying agents comes in role here. The Property Buying Agents London help them access their desired property by saving the traditional property purchase fees.

And I've heard from many of my friends that they are happy with these buying agents as they helped the people own the property they have longed for in affordable price.

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