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Brexit, weaker pound spur Indian interest in London property: Report

The US has been the most active foreign country, with visits to its website from the US between January and March 2019 (Q1) up 85% on the same period in 2018.

business Updated: May 10, 2019 17:33 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
London,UK,London property
Indian buyers have indicated interest in properties in Mayfair, Hyde Park and Canary Wharf.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Weaker pound, Brexit impasse and easier RBI norms to invest in property abroad have combined to increase interest among investors in India in high-end property in London, a leading London-based estate agent reported on Wednesday.

Chestertons said interest in London residential property from the US and India ‘surged’ over the last three years. The US has been the most active foreign country, with visits to its website from the US between January and March 2019 (Q1) up 85% on the same period in 2018.

It also reported growing interest in the London property market from India, with web traffic up by 94% during the same period. It added that ‘unsurprisingly’ the Brexit stalemate has seen interest from most EU countries in the first quarter of 2019 wane compared to last year.

The agent said: “India’s growing economy, expanding middle class and favourable currency exchange rates, also appear to be encouraging more Indian investors to consider purchasing property in London. In Q1 2019, Chestertons’ web traffic from India surged by 94% compared to Q1 2018”.

“Although the pound has broadly risen against the rupee since April 2017, it is nonetheless still 13.5% below its August 2015 peak. Moreover, a lot of Indian buyers transact in US dollars”, it added.

Guy Gittins of Chestertons said: “There has been a noticeable increase in interest in London property from the US and India, mainly thanks to the weakness of the pound, coupled with the fact that prices have come down by as much as 20% since the peak, therefore making London property a very attractive investment opportunity”.

Indian buyers have evinced interest in properties in Mayfair, Hyde Park and Canary Wharf.

“A common theme among both nationalities that we are dealing with is that they are taking a longer-term view about London and the UK. Brexit is generally regarded as a shorter-term blip which will not detract to any significant degree from London’s pedigree as a world city and a safe haven,” Gittins added.

First Published: May 10, 2019 17:32 IST