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Home arrow Real Estate News arrow General News arrow Top housing in London sketches the world’s billionaires
Top housing in London sketches the world’s billionaires Print E-mail
Saturday, 26 August 2006
Today, a foreigner is a typical buyer of a £2m-plus home in central London.  This only shows of how international UK capital has become. 
More than 51 per cent of homes worth more than £2m ($3.8m, EU3m) sold in the last year have gone to overseas buyers from Russia, the Middle East and elsewhere, according to figures from Knight Frank, the agents.  This makes London the most cosmopolitan world city in terms of property ownership.  In New York, foreign owners make up 34 per cent of sales in the prime residential market, ahead of Paris, where they account for 27 per cent.  In Hong Kong and Sydney, foreigners account for even fewer prime residential deals, at 13 per cent and 9 per cent respectively.

The change in ownership of central London streets has happened gradually. In the 1960s, British buyers still made 90 per cent of purchases, falling to 70 per cent in the 1970s, 60 per cent in the 1980s and 1990s and less than half today.

"People just want to be in London," said Amanda Craig, director of London houses at Hamptons, the estate agents.

"In Germany there are several major cities, you might want to buy in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, it's the same in Italy, but in the UK it's either central London or a country estate.

The most expensive London homes sold in the first half of the year, a £33m house in Belgrave Square and a former office block at 100 Park Lane, were both sold by agents Savills to Middle Eastern buyers.

The appetite of foreign billionaires for Knightsbridge real estate is being increasingly tested by ever more expensive apartments.


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