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London 'a safe haven for foreign property buyers'

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London 'a safe haven for foreign property buyers'

Foreign property buyers appear to be very keen to transfer money to the UK, experts have observed.

According to estate agent Prickett & Ellis, London in particular is widely perceived to be a safe market in which to invest.

Director of the company Nigel Ellis attributed this partly to continuing difficulties in the global economy. Indeed, he said the UK capital has established a reputation as a stable and secure option for investors throughout the ongoing financial turmoil.

This could explain why many of those who are purchasing homes in London come from Italy and Greece - two countries that are struggling with debt problems.

Mr Ellis said this perception of London as a "safe haven" and growing demand among foreign buyers is pushing up house prices in the city. Since this trend is showing no signs of abating, he cannot see how much higher property values are likely to go.

"I don't really think there is a limit because it is supply and demand and there is not a lot of property," he observed.

"It is a bit like oil prices. It is a hedge for stability or somewhere to put your money."

Mr Ellis noted that currency exchange rates between the UK and the eurozone are not as favourable as they once were, as the "pound has been hardening" in recent times.

This, he said, means a person living in the eurozone will find it more expensive to purchase a property than they may have done a few months ago.

Nevertheless, he insisted the fundamentals of the market and its continuing status as a "safe hedge for their funds" means foreign interest in the London real estate market is holding up.

This comes after Knight Frank revealed that during June 2012, the value of prime central London property went up by 0.8 per cent. This is 10.5 per cent up on the amount recorded a year earlier.

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