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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Now Africans target PCL investment properties

Figures from a prime central London agency show a 400 per cent rise in sales to African buyers in the year to March 2015, compared with the previous 12 months - and other agents say Africans are now joining other well-heeled foreign investors buying into PCL. 

Shirley Humphrey, director of Harrods Estates’ Mayfair office, says: “The majority are looking to spend between £2.5m and £6.5m on a two or three bedroom apartment, where they can stay when visiting London on business or for pleasure.”

Other agents back up Harrods’ suggestion that the African continent is the latest location for international buyers wanting a slice of the UK capital.

Christie’s International Real Estate’s senior vice president in London, Giles Hannah, says he has seen a 12 per cent rise in Africans buying in the £10m-plus ultra prime category in the past year, mostly in Lancaster Gate, Mayfair, Knightsbridge and The City. “The buyers are mainly from Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa and are high net worth business owners in oil, finance, minerals and textiles” he says. 

Beauchamp Estates says in the three years to late 2014 African buyers spent over £600m on property in central London and account for five per cent of all ultra prime residential purchases by value. The majority of these buyers spend £15m to £25m each on a home and come from Nigeria, Ghana, Congo, Gabon, Cameroon and Senegal. 

High-end buying agency Black Brick says that since 2007 some 44 per cent of its clients have come from Africa. Of those from Nigeria - by far the largest group - 58 per cent have bought homes to live in and 42 per cent as investments. 

Black Brick founder Camilla Dell says Africans’ preferred properties tend to be gated and secure, recently-modernised properties or new builds which are similar in design to those in Africa’s more exclusive compound developments. The buyers demand privacy, with facilities like 24-hour concierges and extensive security.

  • Rob  Davies

    Won't have to worry about the mansion tax now. Overseas buyers will have free rein to buy up more and more of London's stock, turning the city into even more of a haven for the super-rich.

    Not sure it's possible for London to become even more affordable - there was research the other day that suggested you need to be earning a wage of £40,000 to be even be close to buying - but the PCL market booming is not going to help that.

    Seems much of our economic recovery is being based on the property bubble centred around London, which makes me very nervous. If it goes pop, what then? There could be trouble ahead...

  • Algarve  Investor

    I wonder if, in ten years time, anyone on an ordinary wage will be able to live in London. It's already unaffordable to buy for many, and it's barely much cheaper to rent.

    I'm also worried about the bubble bursting. A very fragile economic recovery relying on the strength of the property market is a recipe for disaster.

    I'm not against outside investment in London - I'd be a hypocrite if I was, given I buy and sell houses in Portugal. But it's reached ridiculous levels now. It seems to have become the new fashion accessory for the uber rich - a luxury pad in Mayfair or Kensington - but it's not sustainable for the long-term.

    Can't see it changing anytime soon, though.

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