Properties outside London catch the eye of overseas investors

Properties outside London catch the eye of overseas investors

The British property market has become supra-national with investors coming above all from Russia and Asian countries

London is not the only prime investment spot for overseas buyers looking for a real estate property in the UK, anymore. Real estate agents are promoting Bournemouth, Harrogate, Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon as first-rate locations to make an advantageous real estate investment. Glynn Evans, the regional Head of Sotheby’s International Realty explained that there is an influx of overseas money in the UK that has not been affected by the difficult global economic situation; indeed, there are plenty of high-budgeted potential buyers who can afford a dream home and choose Britain or the U.S. to buy a second home. Their choice is driven by lifestyle and possible investment return. Knight Frank released its 2012 Wealth Report in March, showing that HNWIs with at least $25 million in assets increased their spending on real estate in 2011: 16% of wealthy individuals opted for buying a ski chalet and 40% currently own a beachfront property.

Overseas buyers who are generally attracted by properties in central London increasingly desire a superb home in the Bournemouth districts of Branksome Park, Canford Cliffs and Sandbanks, which in particular is the most expensive acreage in the country. The area boasts excellent services, too, such as very good private schools. A great example of “superhome” is The Glen, a £3.9-million 650-square-metre property that is surrounded by a charming woodland of azaleas and rhododendrons and offers a spectacular view over the golf course from its angular concrete balcony. The home include also five bedroom suites, a large living area, an entertainment room, an indoor pool, gym and sauna, as well as a £50,000 yacht with mooring.

The real estate market of Oxford is widely opening to international buyers. According to the data released by Knight Frank, in the past 12 months, investors coming from 13 different countries – above all from Russia and Asian countries – bought a real estate property in the area. The strongest demand is for prime properties valued at £2.5 million or more, such as the £3.95-million Victorian house in Boars Hill Heath with a 1.4-hectare garden, orangery, wine cellar and five bedrooms.

An analysis of prices of prime country houses in Britain show that they fell by 3% in the last quarter of 2011 and by another 0.5% in the first quarter of 2012. The value of superprime properties, instead, is rising by 2.8% year over year.  The west-of-London area is still considered to be a safe investment location due to the vicinity of London and Heathrow airport and to the presence of excellent international schools. Investors from Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are attracted by the vast mansions with porticoes and underground pools that can be found in the gated community of St. George’s Hill, near Weybridge.

The real estate market has become supranational, as potential buyers come from anywhere; consequently, the real estate marketing should follow this global trend. It should be possible to see an interesting property for sale in England, while being in China, or a wonderful ranch house in Wyoming while staying in an office in Bournemouth. This is what Mr Charles Smith, the managing director of Sotheby’s, in Britain, claims and maybe this is the key to the recovery of the real estate market globally.

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