Middle East investors returning to UK property market

Buyers from region accounted for 16 percent of first quarter’s international purchases

National Weekend Edition /
May.May 09, 2021 02:00 PM
Property buyers from the Middle East made up 16 percent of all sales to international investors (Getty)

Property buyers from the Middle East made up 16 percent of all sales to international investors (Getty)

The United Kingdom is seeing Middle East investors return to its property market after a year plagued by the coronavirus pandemic.

Property buyers from the Middle East made up 16 percent of all sales to international investors in the first quarter of 2021, according to Zawya. In the second and third quarters of last year, only 10 percent of international purchases were by investors from the region.

It’s the highest percentage of buyers from the region since the pandemic began, but still below pre-pandemic levels. The U.K.’s biggest source of foreign real estate investment in the first quarter was Europeans, who accounted for nearly six in 10 such deals. Buyers from Asia edged out their Middle Eastern counterparts, making up 18 percent of international sales.

Moreas Madani of Knight Frank told Zawya that buyers from countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council, a Middle East regional political organization, are particularly interested in new construction projects around Mayfair, London. Madani said restrictions on international travel continue to be a challenge for dealmaking.

“As [restrictions ease], and post-Ramadan, we are expecting to see more activity from the region as pent-up demand is released,” he said.

The U.K. has long been one of the world’s most popular real estate markets for foreign investors, so the London real estate industry was well prepared to accommodate buyers unable to travel to the country during the pandemic.

[Zawya] — Dennis Lynch 


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