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.