New research reveals the true breadth of nationalities purchasing residential property in central London, highlighting that the market is far from limited to Middle Eastern and Russian buyers.
A report by property consultants Black Brick, which tracks purchases over the past eight years, shows that the firm has represented 35 different nationalities, with Africans forming the highest percentage of buyers at 43.7 per cent of all deals. Second are Middle Eastern buyers at 17.1 per cent and then tied in third place are Asian and UK buyers at 10 per cent each.
Camilla Dell, Founder and Managing Partner of Black Brick, comments: “Although the perception is that the majority of Prime Central London’s overseas buyers are Russian or Middle Eastern, Africans have always had a big affinity with the UK and London. Over the last eight years, we have successfully acquired £236 million of residential property for African buyers from Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, South Africa and Uganda.
“In particular, we’ve represented numerous buyers from Nigeria. Like a lot of our owner / occupier international clients, many wealthy Nigerians were educated in the UK and send their children to school here. Typically, Nigerians like gated, secure developments, as this is what they are used to back home, where most houses and apartments are located within secure compounds. Even though London is of course, much safer than Nigeria, they still prefer to be in secure developments, preferably with a 24 hour concierge or porter.”
Black Brick’s Asian data also highlights some interesting trends – 68 per cent of their Asian client base are Malaysian, followed by 25 per cent from Singapore and six per cent from Hong Kong. Overall, 50 per cent of Black Brick’s Asian clients are investors and 50 per cent are buying homes.
In the Middle East, Black Brick has represented buyers from Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait and Lebanon. The highest number of buyers have come from the UAE, forming 38 per cent of Black Brick’s Middle Eastern client base, followed by Saudi buyers forming 19 per cent and Egyptian buyers forming 15 per cent, with the latter having the largest average budgets at £5.175m. Of these buyers, 77 per cent have been owner occupiers, and just 23 per cent have been investors.
“In terms of future ‘one’s to watch’ there is vast quantities of wealth being generated from Angola,” Camilla adds. “Typically, Angolans have tended to buy in Portugal due to the fact the language is the same. However, we predict that it will only be a matter of time before Angolans start to diversity and look to London property. As markets mature and clients look for other ways to spread and diversify their wealth, London eventually ends up on their radar.”