Grabbing a piece of the London pie

Updated: Aug 31 2008, 06:13am hrs
Ultra high net worth individual Lakshmi Mittal grabbed property headlines in the UK after acquiring three properties in Kensington Palace Gardens, also known as Billionaires Row. These properties are said to be worth 440million. However Mittal will soon have company from other Indians. The number of such Indians with the propensity to invest in the UK residential market is likely to increase to 583 million by 2025 coupled with another 400,000 high net worth individuals (HNWIs) (four times the current base today) by 2017.

To date Indian buying has been mainly in London and in the 0.6 to 1.2 million price range. London still remains a favourite among Indian investors followed by the banks of the river Thames, says Abhishek Kiran Gupta, vice president, Research and Real Estate Intelligence Services, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (JLLM).

There has also been a growing tide of lower-profile property purchases made by Indians. According to the report, UK-India Cross-border Residential Investment released by JLL, Indians could potentially own 20,000 30,000 UK residential properties over a 10 year horizon. Indias rapid economic acceleration and continued growth in the medium term has led to an unprecedented rise in individual wealth and in the emergence of HNWIs.

With no restrictions on Indians investing in UK residential property and strong house price growth, the market will continue to see the current investment size of 0.6 1.2 million grow exponentially over the next 10 years, according to the report. With the 2012 Olympics scheduled to happen in London it is a good time to buy property in UK. The market is bound to get better before the Olympics, says Gupta.