More Singaporeans eyeing London properties

According to the latest survey conducted by Colliers International, London properties near underground rail stations or universities are at the top of the wish lists for majority of Singapore investors.

Whilst location is important in making property investment decisions, it is imperative that the properties are value-for-money. Hence, investors keep their eye on yields that range between 4.5% and 5% in the British capital.

Particularly, local buyers are especially attracted to units and developments around King’s College, University College London and the London School of Economics among many others.

The survey also noted the increasing number of first-time Singaporean buyers of London property in the past 5 months. Experts said this could be attributed to the seventh round of property cooling measures rolled out in January this year which deterred buyers from purchasing properties in Singapore due to increased stamp duty.

In addition, the favourable exchange rate could have spurred buyers to turn their sights on London property. The Sing dollar has risen 62.5% against the pound since 2007 and most Singaporeans buyers prefer to pay cash for overseas property instead of taking up loans.

Not only Singaporean buyers are active in the London real estate market, investors from all over the world are spending more on London real properties. In January this year, property consultancy Knight Frank conducted a survey which found that overseas buyers spent a total of £2.2 billion (S$4.2 billion) in the British capital last year, a figure which rose 22% from £1.8 billion in 2011.

Significantly, Singaporean buyers form the most active lot of the foreign contingent, accounting for 22% of all new homes sold in central London last year, followed by Hong Kong buyers, who made up 16% of the total number of transactions. British homebuyers stayed at the top of the list with 27% of the sales.

London property experts commented that it is a good time to enter the London real estate market now as prices are expected to increase by 5% this year, and could potentially go up to 7.5% come 2016.