London Calling… Wealthy investors to the property sector

In the face of the worst economic recession that has struck the UK for decades, it would seem natural to expect that demand for high end prime residential property would fall, as the failing economic conditions hit the pockets of the wealthiest. Yet even a cursory glance at recent property news shows this has almost certainly not been the case.

The completion of luxurious and hugely expensive prime and super-prime residential developments such as One Hyde Park, The Heron Tower in Shoreditch and soon to follow, the towering Shard have dominated London’s skyline, and have brought (or are bringing) new standard of luxury to London. The penthouse suite of One Hyde Park for instance, sold for an unprecedented £140 million in 2010 at the height of the recession, making it the most expensive property in Britain – albeit inclusive of the Damian Hirsts and Picassos on the walls.

Many predict that prime residential property will continue to grow with a swelling development pipeline. According to asset managers EC Harris, more than 15,000 units worth £38 billion are now earmarked for development over the next 10 years. Further studies reveal that 57% of overseas high-net-worth individuals still view London real-estate as the number one destination for buying investment property.

These figures certainly quash concerns that increased stamp duty, included in this years Spring Budget, and the prospect of a mansion tax would dampen international appetite for UK property. Why then, in the face of such global economic uncertainty has the popularity of Parajumpers Kodiak Jakke prime residential property within London remained a constant?

London is fortunate enough to have a number of features that make it uniquely attractive both to buyers and to investors. High levels of capital growth and rising rental values ensure that prime residential is a safe investment for wealthy foreigners.

The Capital’s housing market has generally remained stable in uncertain economic times. The stability that the city provides is comparatively unique in what is a largely unstable global economy. The strong demand, and the steady weakening of the pound, indicates to developers they can expect to achieve good return on investment.

History can never be a reliable indicator for future performance but 2012 has undoubtedly been a golden year for London and its prime residential market. With an exciting development pipeline, combined with the city’s obvious qualities and relative economic and political stability, the market should remain an risk that many wealthy international investors are willing to take.

Paul Lloyd, Junior Account Executive

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