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Strong competition for central London property, especially from Asia

According to the latest market report from property consultants Cluttons, prices are exceeding the mid 2007 peak by up to 20% in some cases, as buyers compete for the best properties.
Despite the quiet Easter and royal wedding bank holiday weekends, demand levels across the capital rose by almost 50% during March and April when compared to the same period last year. Those people looking to secure a sale are in a strong position to take advantage of the shortage of property on the market and strong buyer confidence.
‘Activity levels in Central London are now picking up rapidly as buyers recognise that price growth is set to continue for the foreseeable future. They are keen to buy sooner rather than later, when the market is likely to be even stronger,’ said James Hyman, partner for residential sales at Cluttons.

‘Central London property has proved to be the only stable investment throughout the downturn, and increasing numbers of domestic and overseas purchasers are trying to buy a stake in it. People who are looking to move at the present moment are in a strong position to achieve a good price from a very proceedable buyer,’ he added.

Meanwhile, new research from Knight Frank shows just under 60% of new build property sold in central London in the last six months went to Asian buyers, driven by the favourable exchange rate and London's status as the top destination for international property purchases, with strong capital growth potential and stable, long term investment appeal.

Hong Kong buyers were the largest group at 24%, followed by Singaporeans at 12% and mainland Chinese at 10%, and then other countries in the region.

Knight Frank's International Project Marketing team, which sells UK residential developments to the Asian markets, reports that £120 million of its London property was snapped up by Asian buyers in the last two months alone, with particular success in the £400,000 to £1,000,000 price bracket.
Most recently, the King's Cross mixed use development by King's Cross Central Limited Partnership was launched in Hong Kong and Singapore at the start of April and became one of the most successful overseas exhibitions ever.

As a result of the strong demand Knight Frank is strengthening its International Project Marketing division in South East Asia, to support the huge growth in demand from the region. Residential Development Partner, Seb Warner, will move across from London to Hong Kong to head the Asia region and will be joined by Mimi Capas, who will oversee a new leasing division to support this expansion.

‘Asia is the fastest growing region for cross border sales of London property. Having established this business with significant success in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, we are now rapidly expanding into mainland China,’ said Neil Batty, head of Knight Frank IPM.