Now, however, more top London property could be snapped up by Far Eastern investors, including perhaps the Chinese Communist Party.
Cordea Savills, the fund management arm of consultancy Savills, has launched a £150m fund that will buy prime London homes, giving Asian investors an alternative way to invest in the sector. The fund is aimed at institutional investors and super rich individuals in the East and West but is expected to benefit from the strong Asian interest in London.
Indications of interest have been strong so far, particularly from Chinese buyers, said Brian D’Arcy Clark, Cordea’s head of residential acquisitions. The property slowdown in the Chinese property market is forcing fund managers to look abroad for stronger growth.
“There’s very good evidence that Chinese investors want to invest in London and there’s pent-up demand from high-net-worth individuals from China to come into London,” Clark said.
The fund, which closes in January, will invest in London property by forming joint ventures with developers and by committing to acquire apartment units before construction to get better prices, Cordea Savills said. It expects to see net returns of about 18 to 20 per cent a year.