London property still hot for Middle East expat investors

Published:  6 Nov at 6 PM
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The Brexit-hit pound sterling is providing a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to Middle East investors wishing to purchase UK property.

Investors in Dubai and the rest of the emirates are piling their money into British buy-to-let properties, forcing house prices up whilst taking full advantage of the shrinking pound and low mortgage interest rates. Worse still, many are waiting in eager anticipation of a possible no-deal Brexit’s further negative effect on the sterling exchange rate.

One Dubai-resident landlord already has a £14 million portfolio comprised of terraced homes in London and new-builds on the edge of the capital. British-born expat Jas Sanger, the financial director of a recruitment company, is one of a good number of overseas property investors piling dirhams into UK real estate. Middle Eastern investors as a whole are seeing their chosen market place as the opportunity of the century and are effectively US dollar buyers due to the fixed exchange rates. As oil prices edge upwards after a good while in the doldrums, investment of disposable income in overseas properties is expected to rise in parallel.

Following the Brexit referendum’s result, percentages of Middle Eastern purchases of UK property peaked to an all-time high of over 20 per cent of all international investor-sourced property deals in London. Although the volume of such sales has fallen since 2014, the proportion is rising fast as Brexit creeps closer. Unfortunately for investors who rushed in and purchased prime London real estate for millions, homes in this elite market place have seen a loss for their new owners. Predictions of market movements in the event of a no-deal Brexit are dire, with the Bank of England governor informing the British cabinet he expects a 35 per cent fall in house prices between now and 2021.
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