Wealthy Brits overseas rushing to buy into booming UK housing market

Published:  10 Apr at 6 PM
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International buyers, including wealthy UK expats living in the UAE, France and Switzerland are rushing to take advantage of Britain’s booming real estate market and weak sterling exchange rates.

A survey by a British bank has revealed that the boom in house prices in London and the Home Counties combined with a weak pound has attracted attention from an increasing number of overseas buyers as well as high-earning expats. Over a third of those surveyed were planning to purchase UK buy-to-let properties during the next two years.

More than a quarter were looking for UK properties, with 24 per cent favouring Australian cities and 15 per cent looking to the USA. Spain has fallen out of favour recently, both for buy-to-let deals and second homes, as has the remainder of the Eurozone with just six per cent of those surveyed expressing interest.

London is the number one property hotspot at present, with real estate agents predicting the boom will last for several more years. House prices in desirable areas of the city are now way above the means of average workers in the capital, and even the less fashionable areas in East and South London are seeing high-percentage increases.

The trend is forcing first time buyers to consider locations well outside the city and, combined with the high cost of transport, is fuelling an exodus to the provinces of those needed to keep the city running efficiently. At the present time, 72 per cent of expat professionals in the UAE own property in the UK, with 65 per cent of the remainder looking to buy.
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