Analysts predict that Hongkongers wishing to purchase property in London, either for their personal use when they transfer to the United Kingdom through the British National (Overseas) visa system or for investment, would face competition from a growing property interest from Singapore.
According to Marc Von Grundherr, director at property agency Benham and Reeves, more Singaporeans are looking to acquire property in London, which, combined with increasing local demand and that from other Hongkongers, has pushed overall London housing prices up by 2.2% (approximately £12,000). This has been the biggest monthly spike in comparison to the rest of the British regions. In the first quarter of the year, the number of new potential purchasers in the area are at a staggering number, reaching 84% over the five-year average.
Hong Kong is home to 3 million locals and their dependents who are eligible to migrate to the UK and remain and work for extended periods of 12 months under London’s BN(0) program. which was inaugurated in Dm, offering a road to permanent residency and citizenship.
Hong Kong BN(O) migration surging
According to official figures, as of last year, 104,000 Hongkongers have sought to transfer to the UK under the scheme, with 93% of them receiving authorisation to do so. Based on British government predictions, as many as 322,400 Hong Kong immigrants anticipate to purchase property in the UK from now until 2026.
Given their cultural similarities, it is fairly common for Hongkongers and Singaporeans to compete for the same property. “Family houses appropriate for children are in strong demand, while the other sector of interest is heavily focused on financial potential,” Von Grundherr remarked. “As a consequence, we often discover that purchasers from Hong Kong and Singapore are interested in the same projects.”
As part of Asian customs, some properties are hotter than others purely based on cultural beliefs. Homes with the number eight in its address or on the 8th storey are receiving more interest, while homes on the fourth floor or come with the number four are generally less popular amongst Hong Kong buyers.
Real estate brokers see an upsurge in the number of Singaporeans seeking property in London
“We have witnessed a rise in queries from Singaporean purchasers interested in Central London properties. These, however, have been more concentrated on the investment market than on end-user residences “Jeremy Gee, managing director of Beauchamp Estates, comments.
According to Andrew Weir, CEO of London Central Portfolio (LCP), one reason Singaporeans are interested in London houses is for their children’s education. For the 2020-2021 academic year, the city, which is home to prestigious institutions, got 26.8% of all university applications from Hong Kong and 42.2% from Singapore. “We are now working on behalf of numerous international families who are migrating to London to educate their children. They aim to purchase before the start of the school year in September,” he said.
LCP guarantees that its customers are never in direct competition with one another for the same property, according to Weir. “They both like visiting London for similar reasons. Long-term, residential property in London is still regarded as a safe-haven asset class “He added.