French buyers are gobbling up prime London real estate
Chinese buyers previously had the market on lock
French buyers are flocking to London for home purchases.
In the first nine months of the year, 11 percent of overseas buyers in prime London neighborhoods were from France, Bloomberg News reported. Last year, French nationals made up just 2 percent of overseas buyers.
The shift comes in part as the pandemic has complicated travel, and thus potential buyers’ ability to look in far-flung locales. The volatility of the British pound also makes London properties attractive to mainland Europeans, although Swiss buyers were the only other Europeans with a significant share of purchases.
“The combination of a weak pound, a looming stamp duty hike and less competition from buyers who need to catch a long-haul flight has created a buying opportunity,” said Tom Bill, head of U.K. residential research at Knight Frank.
Behind the French, Hong Kongers and Americans each accounted for 9.2 percent of foreign buyers of prime London real estate. Chiense buyers made up 8.2 percent of buyers. Indian buyers rounded out the top five with a 7.3 percent share of purchases. [Bloomberg News] — Dennis Lynch