London remains top investment location for Middle East despite Brexit fears

Kasmira Jefford
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The New Year Is Celebrated In London With A Firework Display
London has cause to celebrate as Brexit fears fail to take the shine off the capital's property (Source: Getty)

Wealthy Middle Eastern investors still rank London as their top city of choice for real estate investment, despite increased uncertainty in the market ahead of the EU referendum, new research shows.

A joint survey conducted by estate agency Cluttons and YouGov of 127 high net worth investors from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait revealed that London was the most preferred city of 196 worldwide locations to invest in real estate.

Around 11 per cent of investors ranked the capital as their top global investment location, followed by New York, with five per cent, and Singapore, with four per cent.

Of those who ranked London top and commented on the UK Referendum, 10 out of 18 said renegotiation of Britain’s EU relationship would have a positive impact on their plans to invest in the Capital’s real estate market, while four said it would have no impact.

Half said a Brexit would have a negative impact on their investment strategy but an equal number also believe this will have either a positive or no impact.

Steven Morgan, Cluttons’ senior partner elect, said: "[London] has historic, stable residential and commercial property markets and competitive capital appreciation, unrivalled by other European cities.”

He added that the weakening euro and sterling will help drive further investment, as most Middle Eastern countries’ currencies are pegged to the dollar.

“Cluttons believe this provides a great opportunity for British vendors to target the region’s investors especially with the backdrop of falling oil prices and lifting sanctions against Iran,” he said.

The survey also showed that across all international locations, 63 per cent of those surveyed said they will be investing in 2016, the majority of whom prefer mainly residential (54 per cent) ahead of commercial (22 per cent) or a mix of both (23 per cent).

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