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Overseas investors snap up new build homes

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Overseas investors snap up new-build homes in London

New-build homes in London are attracting lots of attention from foreign investors, a report has revealed.

According to Knight Frank, investors from 52 separate countries purchased new properties in the heart of the capital during 2012.

The collective value of these transactions came to £2.2 billion – a 22 per cent increase on the amount recorded a year earlier.

Grainne Gilmore, Head of UK Residential Research at Knight Frank, noted that foreign interest in the London property market is not a "new phenomenon".

However, she said a "fresh model" for overseas investment in new-build real estate has emerged in the years since the global financial crisis began.

"The appetite for London property remains strong and there is an increasing interest in London property from a widening range of overseas buyers," Ms Gilmore commented.

She pointed out that many of these investors come from emerging economies which have been able to maintain healthy growth rates throughout the worldwide financial downturn.

Neil Batty, Head of International Project Marketing at Knight Frank, added that investors from outside the UK are likely to keep playing a big part in the prime central London new-build property market over the coming year.

He pointed out that foreign nationals have been drawn towards the "advantageous currency values" London currently offers, as well as the chance to invest in a "tangible asset".

Mr Batty said the opportunity to benefit from strong capital appreciation in the long term has also proved to be appealing, along with the presence of many "world-leading educational and cultural facilities" in the city.

Figures from Knight Frank showed that one in three foreign buyers who are purchasing off-plan are buying in order to provide accommodation for their children who will be studying at university in London.

The organisation added that much of the interest is coming from buyers in Singapore, Hong Kong and China, as well as Malaysia and Russia.

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