London property: Hong Kong buyers flood Canary Wharf, Kensington and Mayfair
London’s property market is seeing an increasing number of Hong Kong residents looking to buy or rent a home in the capital, with Canary Wharf, Kensington, Covent Garden and Mayfair being particularly popular.
Sales enquiries from Hong Kong buyers have risen by 20 per cent over the past 18 months whilst demand for rental properties is expected to increase ahead of September, when students head to London’s universities, according to estate agency Chestertons today.
With web searches in Hong Kong for London properties up by 115 per cent increase last month, compared to May 2020, the agency expects the uplift in Hong Kong investors is likely to continue following the UK government’s recent visa offering to the 2.9m Hongkongers with British National Overseas (BNO) status.
The government expects around 300,000 Hongkongers with BNO status to take advantage of the visa, while there is an additional 2.3m dependents who could apply for UK residency over the next five years.
“Whilst the number of foreign investors in London fell dramatically during the height of the pandemic, the new visa regulations and imminent easing of travel restrictions has revived London’s appeal as an investment and lifestyle hotspot,” explained Guy Gittins, CEO of Chestertons.
Richard Davies, the firm’s head of lettings added to that a significant proportion of tenants in city centres are international students and corporate tenants.
“However, due to COVID-related travel bans, the number of these sorts of tenants declined considerably last year but we are now witnessing a clear increase,” he noted.
Inevitably, the return of renters from Hong Kong and other countries will drive rental prices across the capital.
“Areas such as Canary Wharf, Kensington, Covent Garden and Mayfair are likely to benefit the most, as they are especially popular with our international clientele,” Davies said.