Global Marketplace: 81% of Real-Estate Buyers in London are Foreigners

By Tim Fernholz

And more than half are Asian.

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Via Faisal Islam's twitter feed is this fascinating chart from Jones Lang LaSalle showing the nationalities of real estate buyers in central London. Only 19 percent are British; a steady stream of international buyers, including people from Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, make up the bulk of the purchases. As we reported recently, it seems foreigners are responsible for the crazy price boom in London's fanciest houses; but the data above is of standard family residences. What's driving these purchases? London's rising property prices make real estate an attractive asset (to the point where many see a bubble) and foreigners see fixed assets in the U.K. as a kind of haven investment. U.K. developers are even pre-selling their projects to overseas in investors in advance of building to reduce the financing risk on their projects.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/09/global-marketplace-81-of-real-estate-buyers-in-london-are-foreigners/262899/