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Asians are the largest real estate investors in London: report

world Updated: Jun 29, 2010 16:49 IST

A weaker pound and robust economies at home have made Asians the largest investors in Central London's real estate market, a global property consultancy firm, Knight Frank said recently.

The report said Asians, who spent 761 million pounds in new-built properties in London for better returns in FY 2010, accounted for nearly half (49 per cent) of all investment purchases in the country while UK investors constituted for only 36 per cent.

"While the market has returned to life after it pretty much shut down in 2008, current international investment demand is almost totally concentrated on London and is primarily coming from Asia," said, Liam Bailey, the Head of Residential Research, Knight Frank.

Knight Frank described the revival of international investment demand for new-build property as one of the most remarkable features of the residential market over the past 18 months.

It estimated about 49 per cent of all investors in the 12 months to March 2010 were Asian, of whom 11 per cent were from China or Hong Kong, 10 per cent from Singapore and 7 per cent from Malaysia.

Also, the Asians were likely to invest 20 per cent more on new-build properties in residential sector of real estate in hope for better returns.

Increasing Asian student population in UK is another factor towards increase in residential property investments in London.

Over the past decade the number of Asian students studying in UK universities has risen by 175 per cent. Interestingly, the strongest growth comes from Chinese, Indian and Pakistani nationals, said the report.

The study also pointed out a change in buyer priorities with Asian buyers preferring more up-market quality properties in the past 12 months.

"In 2007, exhibitions in Asia were focused on smaller affordable units but now demand is for more spacious one of two bedroom apartments from 400,000 pounds to 800,000 pounds and more," said Sebastian Warner of Knight Frank's residential Investment team.