3 types of property buyers in Belgravia

Written on 25 July 2016 by Alistair Boscawen in Property News


Belgravia looks its best during the summer months when the immaculate private gardens of Eaton Square, Belgrave Square and Chester Square are in full bloom.

While many of prime central London’s residents from the UK escape to the south of France or further afield in July and August, tourists from all four corners of the world fly into London in search of the city’s cultural attractions.
Four out of five visitors say

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“culture and heritage” are their main reasons for coming to London, according to a report produced by the Mayor’s office that goes on to say: “Cultural tourism generates £3.2bn a year for London’s economy and supports around 80,000 jobs.”

London may not be noted for its weather, but the events that took place in Nice on Bastille Day serve as a timely reminder that the UK capital is regarded as a safe environment in terms of crime levels and the threat of terrorism.

Residents with property in Belgravia who escape London this summer have the opportunity to also reflect that Britain’s decision to quit the EU will not do the capital’s prime property market any long-term damage.

Why? Because London’s position as a centre of culture, trade and finance in the eyes of the world means prime property in the UK capital will continue to be an attractive investment.

The fall in the value of sterling since the Brexit vote means high net worth families and individuals among the estimated 17m-plus overseas visitors who will visit London this year now view prime property in and near Eaton Square, Belgrave Square and Chester Square as more affordable.

As well as visiting London’s free-to-enter cultural highlights, such as the British Museum and the National Gallery, many visitors are coming to London in search of luxury goods… And property.

In the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum result being announced, searches by Chinese residents for UK holidays “skyrocketed” on Ctrip.com’s booking app, according to the travel company, while Chinese news site Phoenix urged visitors to London to “buy, buy, buy”.

It’s not just overseas investors seeking good value homes in prime central London who are property hunting in Belgravia, Mayfair and Kensington.

Britain’s status in the EU has no effect on London having some of the best universities in the world. This helps explain why the parents of students from Asia, the Middle East and oil-rich nations in Africa who have secured a place at one of London’s top-ranking universities often want to rent or buy flats for their children to live in.

The 10 top-ranked universities in London, according to the latest Complete University Guide, have a high percentage of international students.

In fact, the Complete University Guide reveals that of the 11,147 students at the London School of Economics, 44.4% arrived in the capital from outside the UK. Other top 10 universities in London also have a high percentage of overseas students, including Imperial College 41%, UCL 34.8%, King’s College 23.9%, Queen Mary 22.2%, City 33.4%, School of Oriental and African Studies 30.1, Goldsmiths 19.4% and Brunel 23.3%. 

London has long been recognised as a cultural melting pot and a safe city that welcomes visitors and residents from all over the world. But the key to achieving academic success at a leading London university is to feel comfortable in your student accommodation.

UK-based buyers are also looking for property assets in Belgravia. The Bank of England may have put on hold its decision to reduce the base rate from its current record low of 0.5%, but savings rates remain poor.

Since 2009, property in prime central London has been one of the fastest growing asset classes. While nobody can predict with any certainty what will happen to the value of homes post-Brexit, as a long-term investment homes in Belgravia remain a good choice.

Whether you are seeking a flat for your son or daughter, a prime central London address for yourself or are after a property asset that will provide long-term growth, homes in or near Belgravia, Knightsbridge and Mayfair are a wise investment.

For help locating a property for sale or rent that meets all your needs, contact Best Gapp today. We are an independent Belgravia estate agent, chartered surveyor and property valuer that has been offering an unrivalled service to clients since 1900.  

Alistair Boscawen

Alistair has 32 years’ experience as an estate agent, starting in the country house department of one of London’s main international agencies before moving to the Knightsbridge house department of the same agency and learning the difference in values between freehold, long lease and short lease houses in Knightsbridge, Belgravia, Chelsea and Mayfair.

All articles by Alistair Boscawen

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