Hong Kong’s wealthy seek safe haven in London’s prime property market
HNW buyers from the troubled region have splashed over £25m with one PCL agency in recent weeks, snapping up apartments in Whitehall, Marylebone and Kings Cross…
Hong Kong buyers are splashing their cash in Prime Central London, with both buying and selling agencies reporting a flurry of activity from purchasers from the troubled region.
High-end boutique agency Aston Chase has transacted on five sales to Hong Kong buyers in recent months, including a record-breaking deal at The Corinthia in Whitehall, and noteworthy sales in Marylebone and Kings Cross.
Worth a combined £25m, the clutch of sales has come off the back of a “surge of interest” from Hong Kong nationals seeking a safe haven from the escalating political unrest at home.
As reported in September, one such buyer picked up a £10.75m four-bed apartment at 10 Whitehall Place at the Corinthia Hotel in a lightning-fast 72-hour deal, marking the highest Whitehall transaction in five years; this was followed by a three-bed maisonette at 92 Portland Place, which went to a Hong Kong family for £4.4m; another couple with a son who will be studying in London paid £1.85m for an apartment at the Plimsoll Building in Kings Cross.
The Corinthia Residences in Whitehall
The Portland Place instruction was a good example of the kind of property that’s in demand, says Aston Chase. Sporting a period façade and turn-key interior, the centrally-located apartment had been designed by Taylor Howes and came with access to eight-acres of gardens including a lawn tennis court and children’s play area.
92 Portland Place
Apparently the Plimsoll Building buyers started off looking in St John’s Wood and Hampstead, before being swayed by the “incredible amenities” on offer for both themselves and their son in the recently revitalised Kings Cross area.
The Plimsoll Building in Kings Cross
Simon Deen, Director of New Homes at Aston Chase: “Aston Chase have secured a number of significant deals in recent months to Hong Kong buyers. We have seen a surge in interest due to political unrest in the region with many Hong Kong nationals seeking to diversify out of Hong Kong and provide a safe haven for both themselves and their money. Interestingly, our clientele are looking for turn-key properties within areas that offer exceptional amenities for themselves and their families.”
92 Portland Place
A few weeks ago, buying agency Quintessentially Estates reported fielding £200m worth of enquiries from Hong Kong investors in a single month, driven by political unrest in the region.
Jonathan Benarr, head of Quintessentially Estates’ Asia Pacific division said: “People are beginning to become concerned that the climate now represents a glimpse of what Hong Kong is going to look like in the future. At the same time, sterling is still hitting record lows, making London a very attractive prospect.”
CEO Penny Mosgrove added: “This just goes to show that despite Brexit uncertainty and a changing premiership, London’s status as a place of social, financial and political security remains intact.”
The £10.75m penthouse at the Corinthia came with access to the hotel’s five-star amenities
n September, Savills reported that the price of £5m+ property in the heart of the capital had fallen around -20% from its June 2014 peak for a sterling buyer. In Hong Kong dollars, however, there has been an effective downward price adjustment of -41.5%.
Head of international residential, Mark Elliott, said the agency’s London teams had recently seen a “huge influx of enquiries and an increase in super and prime London deals being done from Hong Kong and China.”