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US investors expected to lead overseas investment in UK property

The UK property market is forecast to see strong overseas investment throughout 2024 with US investors set to help lead the way.

An anticipated drop in interest rates and modest economic revival will likely spur overseas investment in UK property. This is while international buyers eye opportunities as they look to capitalise on increasingly appealing pricing levels.

In CBRE’s 2024 European Investor Intentions Survey, the UK was ranked as the leading European destination for cross-border investment. Investors surveyed pointed to its high return potential and discounted rates.

The survey also found that London is expected to see the highest cross-border interest with Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam and Berlin following closely behind.

Chris Brett, managing director of CBRE’s European capital markets division, said: “London is one of those few cities which consistently demonstrates its resilience in the face of challenging economic headwinds and remains a major focal point for global capital.”

Spotlight on US investors

The UK is predicted to attract around $13bn, or one third, of 2024 outbound investment from the US alone. This is according to projections from Knight Frank covered by CNBC.

Recent research from Savills also revealed US investors, in addition to Israeli, Japanese and Taiwanese investors, are set to lead the way by spearheading a 20% rebound in European property investment activity throughout 2024. Investors from these countries are especially looking to inject cash into Britain, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

The US dollar has continued to strengthen, while the pound has cooled. For US investors, the UK will likely look especially appealing given the favourable exchange rates. They can essentially secure a discount on property purchases in the UK compared to when the pound was previously performing more strongly.

US investors can even secure up to double digit discounts, which can maximise what an investor can purchase and the returns compared to buying in the US property market.

Additionally, in recent months, there has been a greater number of foreign national mortgages available. The UK mortgage market also recently stabilised as the Bank of England has held the base interest rate at 5.25% for the fifth consecutive time.

This means overseas buyers, including US investors, are able to choose from a wider range of products and obtain better rates. Lower mortgage rates and the prospect of further falls is boosting confidence in the UK property market as the sector picks up pace.

Preferred types of investment

Across 2024, residential and warehouse properties are projected to be invested in the most from overseas investors. For the first time, logistics and residential properties are expected to beat out offices as the preferred asset class for international buyers, according to CBRE’s survey.

Over one third (34%) of investors expressed a preference for investment in logistics and 28% for residential. This is compared to 17% who have a preference for offices and comes after office transactions fell 71% in 2023 against the five-year average.

With residential property investments, the UK private rented sector is home to around a fifth of the country’s population. This has led to strong tenant demand and yields, particularly in certain hotspots.

Because of the strength of UK property globally, overseas investors have been keen on snapping up property here with its exciting long-term prospects. And this is expected to continue to entice even more overseas investors to purchase UK property moving forward.

To find the right investment for your preferences and circumstances, many US investors and other overseas buyers opt to work with a property investment specialist or agent.

This is similar to the way property is sourced for buyers and investors in the US – through a realtor. They can offer local insight to help investors find the best option for them in the UK property market.

If you’re a US investor looking to invest in UK property, let BuyAssociation help you find the ideal property investment opportunityGet in touch today.

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