Liquid error: wrong number of arguments (2 for 1) Best places to buy property | Marsh & Parsons Sales and Lettings Estate Agents London

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Best places to buy property

Sat 15 Mar 2014

Investors have traditionally made a beeline for london when looking for a reliable price in which to sink their cash and gain appreciable returns. But several other locations have been rising in popularity latley. Harvey Jones writes

property investors have beaten a path to london in recent years, drawing by its weak currency, safe haven status and rentless house price growth. Every time a new crisis strikes, whether its the Arab spring, euro- zone meltdown or emerging market market turnmoil, nervous investors around the world seek to park some of their wealth in London. Middle eastern buyers were responsible for 7.5 per cent of all prime residential real estate sales in london in 2012, according to Knight Frank. And up to 70 per cent of newly built homes in prime london location are now brought by overseas buyers, led by Nigerians, French and Greeks, figures from chesterton Humberts reveal. Phase one of the Battersea power Station development in west london released in January 2013, sold of most of its 866 luxury apartments whithin days, snapped up by Singaporean investors looking to flee emerging market storms. This year, investors from the troubled countries Argentina, Turkey and Ukraine have led the charge into London. But now sterling is strengthening, and so is local resistance to the influx of foreign money, as parts of the capital turn into foreign- owned ghosts towns. Is it time to look elsewhere? many UAE expats are seeking new horizons, Rupert Connor, an independent financial advisor based in Dubia , already owns property in london, and was looking for diversification. " i was torn between Australia, the US and Kuala Lumpur really took my eye. " He says. " The Malaysian economy has been growing steadily, but property is still good value. Kuala Lumpur is very close to Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong, and all that wealth should eventually spill over. " Mr Monnor,35, who lived in the UAE for seven years. took out a 70 per cent loan- to- value (LTV) mortgage with HSBC malaysia to buy a three- bedroom apartment off plan. " This is purely an investment, i hadn't even keen to Kuala Lumpur when i bought the property. I liked the fact that its property law is based on the british on the British legal system. Better still, there is no capital gain tax if you sell after five years. " He plans to hold the property much longer than that , in search of a steady, long- term return. " im not going expecting the price to double in 10 years, but the rental income should give me a steady yield, " Mr Connor says, adding he is also considering investing in the UAE property market. Paul Preston, director and head of middle east at property invetment specialists IP global picksout Brisbane, Australia, as the next property market to perform. Sydney and Melbourne have raced ahead in recent years, but Brisbane now looks better value, he says " its property maket has been relitively stagnant for six years, but now price rises are starting to gain pace. The areas around Fortitude Valleyoffer great value and good rental returns, with vacancy rates of les than 1 per cent. A huge number of big corporates are moving into the valley area, creating more jobs and pushing property prices upwards. " wherever you plan to invest, you need to ask three questions, Mr preston says. " First, will the propertys capital value rise over the mid to long term? Second, Is there a healthy local rental market with strong and sustainable yields? finally, will there be plenty og buyers if you need to sell the property at a later date?" Many investors look over this final question , but a safe exit look for somehwere with desirable and affordable property, a healthy domestic market and readily available bank finance for prospective buyers. Brisbane have all three qualities, " Mr Preston says while some investors are looking to " flip" properties to generate a quick cash return, sophisticated investors should create a disverse portfolio of property in established markets around the world. says David Hughes, Wenior area manager PIC ( middle east). " since the financial crisis we had identified the key marks to be London, Manhattan, San Francisco, Kuala Lumpar and more recently, Sydney and Brisbane, " he says. Other cities are starting to attract investors and enjoy strong growth, he says " these include Chicago and Seattle in the US, manchester and Bristol in the UK, Perth in Australia, and the Kauala Lumpur outer regions. " As the euro zone slowly emerges from reccession, a number of cities should look attractive to investors including Berlin, Dublin, Madrid and istanbul. Mr Hughes adds the key is to spread your money around to recude risk, and do your research. " investing large quantinties of money in unknown markets can be risky, so considering talking independent specialist advice. " says Mr hughes, who advises investors to remember they will also be exposed to currency swings, which could affect the capital value of your investment, and the rental income you recive. london, New york, singapore and Hong Kong have benefited most from cheap money policies adopted by central bankers, says liam Baily, global head of residential research at the estate agents Kinght frank. But worried Goverment, especially in Asia, are now looking to stem the flow of cheap money by intervening in their property markets. " the weight of money leaving china like Hong Kong and Singapore has sparked a political reaction. If you are a non resident and want to buy in Hong Kong or Singapore, you now face significantly increased levels of stamp duty. " says Mr Baily in mainlandChina, the aurthorities have capped maximum loan to values in key cities. Even in London, stamp dutys has increased on top- end properties, while foregin investors now have to pay capital gains tax when they sell. Global property price rises may slow, as rising interest rates push up mortgage costs, but any any fail fall is unlikely. Mr Baily says " another 4,500 people join the ranks of the global super- wealthy every year, people with at least USS 30 million to invest, these newly wealthy individuals will want to invest some of their money in prime property". while in London is facing greater competition, it has just enjoyed its best January ever, with properties selling in record time, and at record high. The average property in the prime central London areas of chelsea Kensington, notting hill, Holland park and primlico rose 10 per cent in 2013 to 2,108,717. the estate agency Marsh and parsons which produced these figures predicts london prices will rise up to 7 per cent this year. " even if demand from overseas investors does fall , there is much pent- up domestic demand that local buyers will take up any slack, " says sue Foxley, a research director at the estate agency Cluttons

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