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There is every indication that Brexit hasn’t affected the Chinese interest in the UK property market by any means whatsoever. The Chinese are snapping up residential and commercial real estate in the UK like never before enticed by the post-Brexit slide in the pound.
Indeed, the pound has lost a lot of value following Brexit; it now stands at 1.17 Euros. Remember, only a year back, the pound was one of the strongest currencies in the world was worth 1.5 Euros. This has encouraged many wealthy Chinese buyers to snap up luxury homes and commercial real estate in London.
In fact, according to Bernie Morris, who heads Chinese property portal Juawei’s EMEA division, there has been a 30% to 40% increase in the number of inquiries from Chinese buyers for UK properties – especially for London real estate.
The interesting thing about Chinese buyers is that although most of them are multimillionaires, they are not impulsive or emotional buyers. They are highly sophisticated investors with a great eye for a bargain. They are also big believers in the UK.
Juawei’s Bernie Morris said: “The data show that the Brexit vote has definitely boosted Chinese buyer interest in UK property. The chief mechanism has been the reduction in the value of Sterling against the dollar and the yuan. Now, with politics stabilizing and a competent new government in place, the UK looks like the same old safe haven as ever – but cheaper.”
Brexit has actually revived the Chinese interest in UK properties, which was down for much of the last 12 months because of the Chinese stock market crash and the slowdown in the Chinese economy. Now, with prime British properties available at a discount compared to their prices just a year ago, the Chinese are buying again.
In fact, Chinese buyers for UK market make up 5% of the owners of prime residential property in London’s prestigious West End. Britain is the most popular European country to buy property for Chinese investors.
While most Chinese buyers are focused on London real estate, properties in Manchester, Oxford, Cambridge and Birmingham are getting snapped up as well.
In fact, Manchester is set to be the next big growth area in the UK property market. Manchester enjoys a high profile among wealthy Chinese as it hosts two of the world’s biggest football teams – Manchester United and Manchester City. The Chinese, as everyone knows, are big fans of the English Premier League.
But a more important reason for Chinese to look for properties in the UK is because of the high quality educational institutions here. Many wealthy Chinese have children who are studying in universities in the UK or working here. There is a desire among parents to be close to their children and grandchildren, which is why properties in Cambridge and Oxford are so popular with Chinese buyers.
Finally, there are signs that things are back to normal in the UK yet again, under the new Prime Minister Theresa May. The storm caused by the Brexit referendum has passed and Britain is once again open to investment – which is very a positive development indeed.
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