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Sell Out: Asian Buyers Snap Up Half of New London Homes

Published: January 22, 2013
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Source: WSJ

If you’ve just moved into a newly built apartment in central London, don’t be perplexed if your neighbors speak mostly Chinese.

Market-cooling measures in Asia have helped fuel interest in London’s real estate market—long a popular destination for property buyers on the prowl, says property consultancy Knight Frank. Last year, overseas buyers spent $3.5 billion on apartments undergoing construction in central London, up 22% from the year earlier.

Together, buyers from Singapore and Hong Kong snapped up nearly 40% of all such apartments in central London. Adding in buyers from Malaysia and mainland China, Asian buyers accounted for roughly half of all purchases. By comparison, U.K. buyers made up just 27% of all purchases of apartments under construction, according to Knight Frank’s latest figures. Such figures were generally consistent with those seen in 2011.

Among overseas buyers, more than two-thirds bought for investment purposes, says Knight Frank, while another third said they were motivated to buy for a child enrolled at a local university.

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