Research reveals the diversity of overseas buyers in London’s prime market
Over 30 different nationalities are buying prime property in central London with African making up the biggest group at 43.7%, new research shows.
The next biggest group of overseas buyers are from the Middle East, making up 17.1% and then Asian and UK buyers both at 10%, according to the research from independent property buying agency Black Brick.
Overall, Black Brick has represented 35 different nationalities, with Africans forming the highest percentage of buyers at 43.7% of all deals, followed by Middle Eastern buyers at 17.1% and then tied in third place Asian and UK buyers at 10% respectively.
According to Camilla Dell, founder and managing partner of Black Brick, although the perception is that the majority of prime central London’s overseas buyers are Russian or Middle Eastern, Africans have always had a big affinity with the UK and London.
‘Over the last eight years, we have successfully acquired £236 million of residential property for African buyers from Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, South Africa and Uganda,’ she said.
‘In particular, we’ve represented numerous buyers from Nigeria. Like a lot of our owner/occupier international clients, many wealthy Nigerians were educated in the UK and send their children to school here,’ she added.
Typically, Nigerians like gated, secure developments, as this is what they are used to back home, where most houses and apartments are located within secure compounds. Even though London is of course, much safer than Nigeria, they still prefer to be in secure developments, preferably with a 24 hour concierge or porter, the research report points out..
In terms of location, for lower budgets, many Nigerians love new build developments such as Imperial Wharf, which is even known as ‘mini Lagos in some circles. However, high net worth Nigerian clients prefer to explore new areas and have privacy and opt for properties in areas such as Belgravia and the parts of Chelsea.
The research shows that 39% of the firm’s Nigerian clients have bought in either SW3, SW10 or SW1, closely followed by 35% buying in North West London postcodes such as NW8, NW6 and N2. In addition, 58% of our Nigerian clients have been purchasing homes in London with the remaining 42% buying for investment.
The data also highlights the fact the services of buying agents are not just for wealthy overseas buyers, with UK purchasers forming the third highest percentage of Black Brick’s buying clients.
‘The property market in London is time consuming, frustrating and difficult to navigate even for local buyers, hence the growing number of UK buyers within our client base. Our British clients tend to be busy executives from the financial services sector, who may have previously been looking for some time on their own, but have become increasingly disillusioned with not being able to find the right property, getting gazumped or having access to off market opportunities,’ explained Dell.
She also revealed that 88% of the firm’s UK client base have been owner occupiers, buying a home rather than an investment, and the most popular postcodes have been SW1, SW3 and SW10, mainly Chelsea and Belgravia with 70% of our UK buyers purchasing in these postcodes, dispelling the myth that prime Central London is purely dominated by international buyers.