Although prime London real estate has long been an attractive investment for the foreign wealthy — whether inRussian rubles, Chinese renminbi or Saudi riyals — more buyers from Continental Europe now seem eager for sterling-denominated properties. They are aided by the European Union’s guarantees of free movement of capital among its 27 members, making it easy for the rich to shop across frontiers. And they are abetted by London realtors who specialize in foreign investors.
It is not only the euro zone’s biggest trouble spots that are sending money London’s way. French investors also are seeking havens in Kensington and Chelsea, Mr. des Forges said. So are buyers from Germany, whose banks and bonds are widely considered safe harbors in the euro zone.
In this part of London, close to the Royal Albert Hall, most of the purchasers of similar apartments are foreign and more than half are from the euro zone, according to Knight Frank.
“Safe-haven flows associated with fears about a messy end to the euro debt crisis have boosted prime central London property prices over the past two years,” according to a report published last week by Fathom Consulting and commissioned by Development Securities, a property developer here.
Foreign buyers were not willing to talk about their purchases for this article, and real estate agents spoke on condition that their clients not be identified.Page 2 of 5 | Prev Page | Next Page