After the South-East Asian buyers, Indians have emerged as second largest buyers of property in central London, accounting for 22% of sales in the year to August, relegating buyers from West Asia to the third slot (at 21%), according to property investment advisory London Central Portfolio’s (LCP) latest sales audit. South-East Asian buyers accounted for 36% of all purchases.
Interestingly, Indians also spent more per house. They accounted for one-third of the total spend, with an average purchase price of £1.77 million, slightly higher than the market average of £1.6 million.
It can also be noted that the number of buyers from continental Europe has fallen dramatically, and they now account for just 7% of sales, down from 24% previously. Analysts attribute this to the uncertainty following Brexit.
Following 2015’s changes to the Liberalised Remittance Scheme in India that increased the amount Indians could spend on properties in the UK (or elsewhere) to $250,000 per person, there has been a notable surge of purchases from wealthy Indian families.
Their interest has been fueled by a sluggish real-estate market back home, LCP’s chief executive Naomi Heaton said in a 14 August release.
“As India has become a more challenging place to invest in, with high loan interest rates and rising prices in the main urban centres, together with increasing global political and economic uncertainty, Indian buyers with a larger amount of capital to spend have increasingly turned to London as an investment destination of choice.”
“As sterling has weakened against foreign currencies, representing a 20% discount for dollar denominated investors compared with two years ago, we are now seeing Indian buyers becoming an increasingly dominant force in the marketplace. They have overtaken buyers from the Middle-East, who have fallen to third place,” Heaton said. In the year to 15 August, the pound has fallen 1.38% against the rupee.