Investors from the Middle East are starting to go back to the UK’s property market.
As per the real estate consultancy Knight Frank, 16% of all deals to overseas purchasers in the initial three months of 2021 were to Middle Eastern purchasers, up from less than 10% in the second and third quarters of last year.
“This is the highest proportion of Middle Eastern interest since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the UK,” Knight Frank said.
However, Middle Eastern investment is still some way off pre-COVID-19 levels. But the consultancy expects activity to increase further as international travel limitations ease.
The data shows that purchasers from the GCC are currently ranked 3rd most important in the UK, only surpassed by purchasers from Asia (18%) and Europe (59%).
“International demand for London property has been building over the last 12 months despite global travel restrictions,” said Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank.
“It has led to frustration on the part of some prospective buyers, particularly against the backdrop of the UK’s successful vaccination programme. Once travel rules are relaxed, we expect normal service to resume, including London’s long-standing relationship with buyers from the Middle East,” he added.
In Spite of lower-than-normal levels of investment from GCC investors, Knight Frank has finished about £90 million ($124.36)worth of deals since the UK went into lockdown.
Moreas Madani, Middle East Global Wealth Ambassador at Knight Frank, said: “There is a particularly high demand from GCC investors for best-in-class new build projects in and around Mayfair.
“We are seeing steady interest from the Middle East, however, the biggest challenge remains restrictions on international travel. As this eases, and post-Ramadan, we are expecting to see more activity from the region as pent-up demand is released.”