London agency Benham and Reeves says a new analysis it’s conducted of the capital’s property market since last summer shows a huge surge in Hong Kong buyers.
Back in July Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that up to three million Hong Kong residents were to be offered the chance to settle in the UK with a visa; since then there have been an estimated 51,228 residential properties sold across London.
This is a decline of 35 per cent when compared to comparable period a year earlier; however, while the London market has stuttered for most buyers, the British government offer has seen the number of Hong Kong homebuyers transacting across the capital climb.
Since July 2020, Hong Kong nationals have accounted for an estimated four per cent of all London market activity, up from just one per cent in the same period the previous year.
As a result, Benham and Reeves estimate that Hong Kong buyers have transacted on some 270 homes in the prime London market since July of last year, and 1,932 across the capital as a whole.
This means that when looking at Hong Kong buyer interest alone, the prime London market has seen a 106 per cent increase as a result of the BNO visa offer, with a 144 per cent uplift across the entire London property market.
Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, says: “The UK has always been a popular destination of choice for Hong Kong investment into bricks and mortar. This has certainly been bolstered by the offer of the visa and for the first time in some 30 years, our Hong Kong office saw more interest from those looking to buy versus those looking to invest during the first quarter of the year.
“Many are doing so with an eye on the future, laying the initial foundations required for life in the UK. Some of this activity is being seen in the very high-end London market, but in fact, much of the demand coming from Hong Kong is focussed around more average market price thresholds.
“We expect Hong Kongers to continue to grow in prominence where the international make up of the London property market is concerned, with many more transacting in the coming months as we see an easing of travel restrictions."