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SG Far East buyers focus on UK country homes

Property Here - Saturday, September 07, 2013

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Property buyers and investors from the Far East have been splashing up to £10 million on U.K. property in London’s commuter belt.

Premier residential estate agency Hamptons International announced that the number of applicants from the Far East looking to buy properties priced above £10 million within 50 miles of London has double compared to the same time last year.

John Denney, Head of Country Houses at Hamptons International, told PropertyGuru: “Buyers from China and Korea in particular are now, more than ever, looking to expand their property portfolios outside of the Capital and in prime commuter belt areas. Far Eastern purchasers are looking for significant plots of land, or properties built over the past 10 years to update and extend. They are keen to put their own stamp on a home.”

Areas of Buckinghamshire, particularly the hotspots of Henley (pictured) and Marlow together with the Surrey Hills, are the top areas of choice for Far Eastern purchasers with their easy links into London, proximity to the airports and distance to some of the top independent schools in the U.K.

Nick Hole Jones, Country House Director at Hamptons International, added: “We often co-ordinate viewing tours with purchasers from the Far East, and Feng Shui continues to be high on their agenda.

“It’s not unusual for them to bring a consultant with them who will advise as to how their homes can be modified and developed. Properties close to water and those that are flooded with natural light tend to be high on the wish list. Our viewings are conducted with the upmost privacy and we’ll often view  up to five properties in a day.”

Across Hamptons International’s branch network, the business has achieved more sales over the past three months than any period since 2007, and the new number of buyers is up 32 percent on the same time last year.

Denney added: “There’s an energy in the Country House market, particularly from overseas that we haven’t seen for a while. All eyes are on the Autumn; the Far Eastern investment interest in the safe haven of prime U.K. property close to London certainly doesn’t look like its set to wane.”

Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of PropertyGuru Group, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email andrew@propertyguru.com.sg