By Romesh Navaratnarajah:Prime property prices in the West are rising as more buyers from emerging countries shift their attention to more attractive destinations.
In London, real estate values now stand at around £3,000 psf (S$6,058 psf), which is similar to what was seen before the 2008 financial crisis. Despite the rise in stamp duties, sentiment has not faltered, especially among Asian buyers.
For instance, Hong Kong investors snapped up over £8 million (S$16.16 million) worth of residential units in Fitzroy Place, a new development at London's Fitzrovia district.
The integrated development comprises 237 private apartments and 200,000 sq ft of prime office space. Developer Exemplar Properties said the price range for a unit ranges from £605,000 (S$1.22 million) to £8.5 million (S$17.17 million).
About 15 to 20 percent of the buyers are East Asians, noted Exemplar, which is in Singapore for the second leg of its Asian roadshow.
"The first allocation was sold out within three days in Hong Kong, so now we're here in Singapore with a second allocation and already interest from Singaporean buyers have been huge – some twenty units have been sold ahead of the exhibition," said Daniel Van Gelder, co-founder of Exemplar.
Affluent Asians are buying more luxury homes in the West, given the high property taxes in their own countries.
Citi Private Bank and Knight Frank revealed that prime property values were up 12 percent in London over the past year, while prices in Shanghai dropped 3.4 percent and stood close to five percent in Singapore.
"From Asian clients we've seen over the last 18 months an increase in investor demand in the UK for both commercial and residential markets… They're buying for capital growth and as a safe haven," said Tim Bowring, Managing Director and Regional Head of Global Real Estate Investments at Citi Private Bank. Related Stories:An eye on Malaysia
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