Rich West Africans now buying in London’s prime property sector

Russians and the Chinese are known to be keen buyers in London’s prime property market but now investors from West Africa are entering this prestigious market.

Prime London estate agent, Harrods Estates Mayfair Office, is reporting a surge in demand from West African buyers in Mayfair with a 40% rise in sales of luxury property to the nationality in the last 12 months and up 400% compared with the previous year.
 
Shirley Humphrey, director at Harrods Estates, explained that the firm has seen a considerable increase in demand from West African’s looking to purchase a pied a terre in Mayfair. The majority are looking to spend between £2.5 million and £6.5 million on a two or three bedroom apartment, where they can stay when visiting London on business or for pleasure.
 
As with many international buyers, West Africans are seeking apartments in luxury developments, which offer 24 hour security, concierge and spa facilities. ‘Family is very important to them and they prefer to cluster buy more than one apartment in the same building so that they have somewhere for their children, parents and grandparents to stay,’ said Humphrey.
 
She pointed out that Mayfair is seeing resurgence over the coming years, with an array of new luxury developments in the pipeline and the return of many commercial buildings put back to residential use.

The area has long appealed to British nobility, aristocracy and high society as well international wealthy individuals from around the world, including Middle Eastern, Chinese, Indian and Russian buyers.
 
‘Mayfair offers a village lifestyle in a fantastic central location. The excellent shopping on Mount Street and Bond Street, fantastic restaurants and five star hotels, contribute to the areas popularity and with Hyde Park and Knightsbridge a short stroll away, many of our clients love the location as both an investment and lifestyle choice,’ explained Humphrey.
 
‘West African purchasers are drawn to living north of Hyde Park or just off Park Lane on Upper Grosvenor Street or Mount Street and prefer period buildings with newly refurbished luxury interiors which they can move straight into. Although they are buying property as an investment, the key thing for West Africans is owning a home in London which they can use for a minimum of a few months of the year,’ she added.