A London property investment consultancy says 22 per cent of properties it’s advised overseas purchasers on this year have been bought sight-unseen.
London Central Portfolio says it’s experiencing an influx of international buyers as the capital battles Brexit uncertainty and the long-term poor Sterling performance, as well as the pandemic.
It says over 22 per cent of the transactions it advised on this year involving overseas investors ended up with a ‘sight unseen’ purchase. This suggests, it claims, that London is regarded as a global city and a 'go-to' destination - even if some buyers don’t go to it themselves to check properties they purchase.
"We have been able to advise based on our intimate knowledge of the prime London market and our unique provision of a detailed financial model enabling our established clients to invest sight unseen” says LCP chief executive Andrew Weir.
He says other incentives for such purchases include the UK stamp duty holiday ending in March 2021, the anticipated two per cent additional stamp duty surcharge for overseas buyers being introduced in April, and - “most importantly” he says - the current discounted prices in the market compared to its peak prior to the Brexit referendum in 2016.
Weir says the current “unique buying environment” has resulted in a strong demand from large scale property investors “some acquiring large blocks of flats preferably with the opportunity to add value to maximise their returns.”
LCP says with the significant increase in purchases made via virtual viewings and evidence of pent up demand, 2021 may well see the beginnings of a rally in prime London similar to that following the Global Financial Crisis, where prices increased 61 per cent between March 2009 and September 2012.
LCP describes itself as a boutique-sized firm acting for UK and overseas property investors and homebuyers, providing “superior access to buying opportunities” to suit all aspirations and budgets.