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International buyers: Strong prospects set to boost demand

As momentum in the UK property market has picked up pace recently, international buyers are likely to start eyeing up more opportunities across the country.

Last year was turbulent for many global property markets. And it was a challenging year as a whole for many, leading some domestic and international buyers to adopt a “wait and see” approach amid the economic uncertainty.

Since the start of 2024, multiple factors have already started boosting confidence in property investment. In a range of the leading global property markets, investors are viewing the current climate as a good opportunity to invest.

The UK housing market in particular has picked up pace throughout the first part of the year, and this is expected to continue as experienced investors are eyeing up opportunities in the UK.

Housing supply is also not currently keeping up with what’s needed as demand remains high across the UK property market, including the private rented sector. This opens up opportunities for international buyers looking for a buy-to-let investment.

International buyers in London

Despite some of the challenges last year, international buyers increased their stake in London’s prime property market for the second year in a row. The proportion of homes throughout Prime Central London bought by an overseas buyer rose from 39% in 2022 to 45% last year, according to figures from Hamptons. These levels are now back to the numbers seen pre-Covid in 2019.

American buyers made up 1.4% of all international buyers purchasing a home in Greater London last year and 1.6% of those in Prime Central London. A strengthening economy, rising house prices and strong yields could lure more international buyers into the market this year.

In Benham and Reeves’s Prime London Buyer Demand Index for Q4 2023, Marc von Grundherr, director of the lettings and estate agent, commented: “London’s top tier property market largely echoed the subdued market performance seen across the rest of the capital during the final quarter of 2023.

“However, there are signs that these cooler market conditions could be on the turn, with buyer demand starting to climb across the core prime market, resulting in many individual neighbourhoods registering strong growth.

“It may take some time yet before this growing market sentiment reaches the dizzying heights of the super prime market, although this segment has always been very much about quality over quantity to begin with. That said, as London’s high-end homebuyers continue to return it’s only a matter of time before this momentum flows up stream.”

Standout property investment hotspots

While the average UK house price dipped slightly between January and December 2023, there were some standout locations that registered growth. In recent years, the north west of England has often been regarded as a top region for property investment. This is predominately thanks to its consistently strong rental demand and house price growth.

A report by Yopa showed that the north west recorded the strongest house price growth in the UK last year, rising by 3.2% in 2023. On top of that, the region is expected to see a further boost due to extensive regeneration, which continues to attract people and companies.

Despite the recent growth, this part of the UK is still home to some of the most affordable property markets. This provides a greater scope for capital appreciation, and the research from the past 12 months has revealed that its property market remains ahead of the pack.

Within the north west, rental yields are some of the highest in Liverpool. Manchester is well-renowned for its top-class universities, in addition to its strong economy and jobs market. Additionally, the likes of Preston, Stockport and Bolton offer options away from Manchester’s city centre and sometimes even higher yields.

If you’re interested in investing in property as an international buyer in the top-performing locations across the UK, get in touch with BuyAssociation or start by browsing some of our select investment opportunities.

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