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More Indians own property in London than the English; here’s why Indians buy property in UK

“We are seeing a strong demand from Indian investors looking to purchase properties in London and invest in the stable and long-term property market.”

More Indians own property in London than the English; here’s why Indians buy property in UK
Indians are willing to shell out anywhere between GBP 290,000-450,000 for a one, two or three bedroom apartment in London. Image: Bloomberg

Indians are among the highest number of property owners in London – the heart of the UK, even ahead of the English themselves. Indians – led by those living in the UK for generations, NRIs, investors living elsewhere, students and families traveling to the UK for education – are the biggest group of property owners in London, followed by the English and Pakistani people, said London-based residential developer Barratt London. And these Indian investors – living in the UK and India – are willing to shell out anywhere between GBP 290,000-450,000 for a one, two or three bedroom apartment in the capital city, London.

“We are seeing a strong demand from Indian investors looking to purchase properties in London and invest in the stable and long-term property market. Outside of London, most of our products are sold to UK residential buyers, who buy these properties and live in them,” Stuart Leslie – International Sales and Marketing Director for Barratt London, told FinancialExpress.com. Around 30 per cent of our overseas sales at Barratt London in the capital city are to pure investors (those who wish to use them as rental properties).

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“This year we have seen a growth in the percentage of Indian homebuyers, who make up 3.5 per cent of the overseas market players. We are really reacting to where the demand is coming from rather than speculating and looking for business,” Stuart Leslie said. In fact, according to a Knight Frank report, 10 per cent of India’s UHNWIs plan to buy a new home in 2022 and they prefer to invest in properties in the domestic market, followed by international markets of the UK, the UAE and the US.

“India by far is one of the strongest markets we see long-term growth in, with overseas investments rising from India. Another strong player is the Middle East, with investors from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait.”

– Stuart Leslie, International Sales and Marketing Director, Barratt London

Why though?

London being a financial and educational centre and also one of the important global gateways for investors, the city is popular with Indian investors or homebuyers. Also, with prices per square foot nearly identical in London and Mumbai and also a similar legal system making transactions less complicated, it’s only natural for Indian homebuyers to look at London’s real estate market. “The reason why Indians are comfortable with buying property is because of the market fundamentals and confidence along with a history of Indians investing in houses in London. They’re eager to invest in the UK residential markets because they are getting better returns owing to the exchange rates and market presence presently. It is relatively a safer market in comparison to the UAE or India,” he said.

Besides being a ‘steady market’ for residential real estate, the UK has positives like pleasant weather and shorter travel time as compared to other overseas potential markets. “There are a huge number of students and families that move to the UK for education, especially from India. Applications from Indian students to UK schools and universities have increased by 128 per cent in one year,” Stuart Leslie added. Overall, good educational institutions, ease of doing business, a cosmopolitan outlook, language familiarity and growing investment opportunities are some of the major reasons why Indians have always preferred to invest in the UK.

How much will it cost for a London property?

The demand currently is for close-to-completion and completed projects since ‘people are looking at moving quickly after the pandemic’. In terms of property price, the popular price point at Barratt London is about GBP 290,000 to GBP 450,000. “This is not a price which people normally associate with the London market but with tier-II or tier-III cities. This makes people want to own properties in London rather than smaller cities of the UK,” he said.

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