Chinese buyers eye London property

Updated: 2016-11-08 13:48


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Chinese buyers eye London property

Estate agents' boards advertising homes for sale stand near a block of flats in London, Oct 31, 2016. [Photo/VCG]

Chinese investors have increased their focus on London's property market partly due to pound depreciation and new restrictions on property purchases in China, the Financial Times reports.

Chinese investment in London's most exclusive areas shows an increasing trend since the Brexit vote at the end of June. Investment in the commercial property market has also been increasing this year, despite other investors withdrawing capital.

The number of inquiries from Chinese buyers about British properties reached a record level in September, according to data from, an online property portal.

During the third quarter this year, the proportion of Chinese purchases of up-market London homes rose to 2.6 percent from 1.8 percent in the second quarter, according to real estate agent Hamptons International.

Charles McDowell, a high-end London real estate agent, said he sold a home in Mayfair to a Chinese buyer for 160 million pounds ($198 million) after the Brexit vote. "The weak pound has made a difference to them... In fact, it has saved the London real estate market," he told the newspaper.

The increase in the commercial property market was even more obvious: in the six months leading up to the Brexit vote, Chinese buyers poured $1.7 billion into London commercial property, a 75 percent rise from a year earlier, according to Knight Frank, a property consultancy.

Despite the economic uncertainty created by Brexit, Chinese buyers see the British currency and property markets as stable in the long term, the newspaper said.

Sixty percent of Chinese people with assets of more than $1.5 million planned to buy property overseas in the next three years, according to a survey conducted by Hurun Institute. Half of them said Renminbi depreciation was the key concern.

Agencies contributed to this story.