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UK London interest remains strong

Property Here - Thursday, August 29, 2013

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London property investor interest from Southeast Asia shows no signs of stopping according to a central London real estate agency that recently held a series of road shows in the region.

Attendance at Benham and Reeves Residential Lettings' latest series of property investment seminars in Southeast Asia surpassed expectations with more than 150 investors attending the events in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.

The central London lettings agency teamed up with companies including Citibank and OCBC Bank in Singapore to present the seminars highlighting the latest developments in the London residential property market. Private appointments were also held over an eight-day road show.

"This has been our busiest trip to date, showing that demand from Southeast Asian investors for London residential property shows no signs of slowing down,” said Anita Mehra (pictured), Managing Director of central London's largest, independent lettings agency. 

“Even the recent news that Singapore's central bank has announced plans to impose restrictions on loans taken out by Singaporeans for their investments, seems to have had little impact so far on investors' appetite for investing in London rental property.” 

“Of course, investment conditions in London remain fairly settled and investors continue to be drawn by the UK’s economic stability, transparent legal system and liberal tax system.”  

“Some of the investors we meet are wealthy individuals who are simply looking for a safe haven for their wealth and London property meets their investment criteria, providing good, long-term capital growth. These investors tend to stick to prime central London - it has a unique cachet, with beautiful properties and a real kudos that few other international cities can match.”  

She added that another reason why Malaysian investors choose central London properties is that many Malaysian banks will only lend on properties in Zones 1 and 2.  

“Many investors that are able to pay cash are also looking for a good rental yield as well and are now looking at new developments on the fringes of the city and central London where purchase prices are lower yet rental demand is just as high, providing them with better rental yields - typically around five percent,” continued Anita.

“At the moment, we’re finding investment properties in East London and Docklands are attracting a lot of interest from Southeast Asian investors. Developments such as New Festival Quarter on the borders of Bow, Marine Wharf & Number 1 The Plaza in Greenwich, Avant Garde in Shoreditch and Altitude in Aldgate (the latter two are in Zone 1 so meet the Malaysian banks’ lending criteria). The Triton Building in Kings Cross, NW1, also in Zone 1, is another popular development,” she said.

“It seems that London’s favourable economic conditions - strong rental demand and healthy rental yields coupled with good long-term capital growth continue to attract overseas investors. With most commentators predicting a growing shortage of housing in London over the next few years, we don't expect this situation to change significantly.”


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