Hong Kong buyers – A ray of hope for the UK real estate market?


World markets have felt the pressure of the Covid-19 pandemic and the UK also had the added pressure of Brexit uncertainty. However, it is not all doom and gloom, as inward investment to the UK from some markets has started to resume, as they start to open up.

For the UK, there is an anticipated boost in potential residential and commercial real estate investment from Hong Kong.

Following the UK government's plan to grant the three million Hong Kong residents who hold British Overseas National citizenship (and their dependants) UK visas, it looks like we are going to see a number of Hong Kong residents moving to the UK and investing in UK PLC, especially our real estate sector.  

The likelihood that they will invest in the UK market is also increased by the fact that this is a long term situation. These British Overseas Nationals will be given the right to remain in the UK with the right to study and work for five years. After the initial five years, they will be eligible to apply for a settled status and, after another year, apply for citizenship.

This announcement will undoubtedly increase the number of Hong Kongers looking to invest, as they will have easier access to the market, a trend that we have already started to see. A relatively weak pound and London in particular still being viewed as relatively safe place to invest will boost this trend, especially when world economy is still feeling the impact of Covid-19.

On the residential property side, buying a house in London is expensive, but the Hong Kong housing market is approximately twice as expensive as London. Hong Kong has seen house prices sky rocket in recent years meaning that, relatively speaking, if you sell up in Hong Kong you will be left with enough money to buy something larger in the UK and potentially enough spare to invest more broadly.

Potential buyers and investors should also be looking to make the most of the movement in property prices in the current climate, before any correction in the market and the impact of the pause (or slow down) in construction of new builds which took place over lockdown, is felt.

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