Daily Management Review

Buyers From Hong Kong Significantly Increase Purchase Of UK Properties After Security Law


Buyers From Hong Kong Significantly Increase Purchase Of UK Properties After Security Law
A significant number of residents of Hong Kong are preparing to move to Britain. But many have been stalled their plans because of rising home prices there. According to latest reports, there has been an appreciation of 15 per cent in prices since April.
Hong Kong residents are concerned about the increasing politicized environment particularly for the young children.
According to report quoting property agents in the Britain, in the past two months, more than double the number of apartments to Hong Kong buyers were sold with the majority of sales in homes for personal use.
Reports further stated that the good quality houses are all sold out and prices have gone up as many people from Hong Kong are purchasing property in the United Kingdom.
Following the imposition of the controversial and sweeping new security legislation in Hong Kong by China, a path to British citizenship was offered by the UK government in July to about 3 million British National Overseas passport holders in Hong Kong.
"We have never received so many calls from existing clients," said Marc von Grundherr, director of London estate agent Benham and Reeves, a firm that lets out  properties in the UK for about 1,000 clients in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong buyers have been further encouraged to invest in the UK because of a weaker pound since 2014 and a stamp duty holiday in Britain for homes priced below £500,000 ($654,400).
In the past two months, more than 10 deals were completed by property agent Arlington Residential in London. Normally that figure would be achieved in about a year.
In July alone, around 60 apartments were sold by Centaline in Hong Kong, and added that  a shortage of supply of homes in the UK meant that they had a waiting list of clients.
The price range of the homes that Hong Kong investors typically purchase is between £300,000 and £50 million. It has also been reported that Hong Kong residents are now increasingly looking to purchase properties outside London in areas such as in Manchester and Bristol because of cheaper home options.
"Because of the situation in Hong Kong, those who didn't know the UK very well are now also looking ... and they don't want to commit too much yet because their economic power is not as strong," said David Hui, Centaline Property sales director.
According to data from Knight Frank, over the past 12 months, buyers from Hong Kong have risen to become the fifth-largest foreign investors in central London behind China, the United States, India and Russia. Hong Kong purchasers accounted for 4 per cent of the total purchases, up from 2.5 per cent in 2016.
The political situation in Hong Kong have made its resident nervous, said Guy Bradshaw, head of London Residential at Sotheby's International Realty UK, adding that the residents want to ensure safety of their families as well as their income.
He added that some of his clients are well-known and ultra-high net worth families who are "ready to pounce if need be" to relocate the whole family.