The ongoing tension with China and Boris Johnson’s offer of British citizenship to 2.9m of its residents, who have a British National Overseas passport (BNO), is attracting growing numbers of Hong Kong buyers to London, according to Chestertons, one of the capital’s largest agents.
Between 1 June and 7 July, the number of new buyers from Hong Kong registering with Chestertons more than doubled compared to the same period last year. Chestertons’ data also shows that these buyers are expanding into areas they haven’t previously targeted.
In the past, Hong Kong buyers have generally bought investment properties outside of central London where yields are higher, in areas like such as Canary Wharf. However, recent interest has been more focused on buying family properties to live in south west London and central London, where enquiries from Hong Kong have risen by 53% compared to last year.
In the last four weeks in Putney, where there has traditionally been almost no interest from Hong Kong buyers, Chestertons has registered numerous new buyers. Elsewhere in west London, 75% of the apartments released in the first phase of a new development were reserved by Hong Kong buyers within a matter of weeks, although these were mainly for investment.
Chestertons’ MD Guy Gittins comments: “Given the close historic ties between Hong Kong and the UK, London has always been popular with Hong Kongers as a place to visit, invest and educate their children. However, the current situation and uncertainty in Hong Kong has caused many to look at London property as a ‘safe haven’ investment, while the stamp duty holiday and the weak pound are added attractions.