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International money boosts London property market

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Fresh evidence has emerged of the influx of foreign money into the London residential market.

A report from property consultants Knight Frank revealed that buyers from 52 countries purchased new build property in central London last year.

International Residential Investment in London calculates that property bought by overseas buyers was worth £2.2 billion in 2012 – up 20 per cent from the previous year.

It comes after property services firm Jones Lang LaSalle said international buyers would come ‘from a broader range of backgrounds’ in 2013.

Knight Frank identified three factors underpinning the appetite for property in London: capital growth potential; advantageous currency rates; and education.

Educational opportunities in London are particularly attractive for buyers from Asia, who accounted for almost half of the market in 2012, according to the consultancy.

Knight Frank forecasted increased investment activity from China, and named Turkey and Indonesia as countries to watch.

Neil Batty, head of international project marketing at Knight Frank, said: ‘Overseas investors will continue to play a vital role in the acquisition of prime central London new-build homes in 2013.

‘They are attracted to London due to advantageous currency values, the opportunity to invest in a tangible asset with the prospect of long-term strong capital appreciation, and the recognition that London continues to offer world-leading educational and cultural facilities.’

Property services firm Jones Lang LaSalle found that less than a fifth of residential property buyers in central London were British.

Hong Kong was almost as well represented as Britain, closely followed by Singapore, Malaysia and the Middle East. Significant numbers also came from China, India, Russia and Turkey.

London-based practice Aukett Fitzroy Robinson said the findings were good news for architects in the sector.

UK managing director Suzette Vela Burkett told AJ last week: ‘London is a centre of finance and design excellence and many international developers like to have something here. I think the trend will continue.

‘It’s great to have one sector performing well, and it brings with it some very high quality specifications and unique opportunities, which is great for architects.’

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