220,000 London homes owned by Chinese: more to come, … – Estate Agent Today

Government figures show the 218,975 properties within Greater London have Chinese owners – and two agents say there will be more to come. 

The hard data comes from the Office for National Statistics which says 98,725 are owned by Hong Kongers and 120,250 by mainland Chinese owners. 

The ONS adds that in 2019 alone Hong Kong and mainland Chinese buyers invested £7.69 billion in London property including over £750m invested in residential property in two boroughs, the City of Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea. 

At the high end of the market, estate agency Beauchamp Estates says Chinese purchases this year have reached a record high despite the Coronavirus crisis; the agency says they account for 15 per cent of all the international sales above £1m in prime central London, and 20 per cent of all international sales above £10m. 

The figures could to go higher with the proposed Hong Kong visa changes set to open the door to UK citizenship and further property investment for thousands more Hong Kongers, the agency predicts.

Since the December General Election, Beauchamp Estates says it’s sold over £300m of property to Chinese buyers.

“The Chinese believe that living on high ground or in homes where you are elevated above others brings good fortune, hence their preference for penthouses or landmark buildings. For the Hong Kong super-rich buying a trophy London mansion or penthouse is good for their personal profile, generating columns of profile boosting PR in traditional media and a storm on social media” says Beauchamp’s founder, Gary Hersham.

A similar trend has been noticed by another London agency, Aston Chase, which says it has been accelerated by the Boris Johnson government’s decision to offer, potentially, up to three million HK residents UK citizenship.

The agency says that in recent week enquiries levels from Hong Kong residents have increased by 50 per cent – down to the UK government offer and the possibility of a second wave of Coronavirus closing the London market.