The Straits Times | 12 Apr 2013
London properties near underground rail stations or universities are high on the wish lists of Singapore investors, according to a new survey.
But it also found that while location is important, investors here still want value for their money and are looking for yields of between 4.5 per cent and 5.5 per cent in the British capital.
"Units and developments around King's College, the London School of Economics and University College London remain popular with local buyers," said Ms Nina Davies, operations director of international properties at Colliers, which conducted the survey at exhibitions it held here over the past year.
The poll also noted that the number of first-time Singaporean buyers of London property has been increasing in the past five months.
"The (seventh round) of property cooling measures launched in January as well as the favourable exchange rate could have contributed to this trend," said Ms Davies at yesterday's Lend Lease briefing, for the launch of the 235-unit Trafalgar Place in central London.
Another factor has been the Singdollar, which has risen 62.5 per cent against the pound since August 2007. Ms Davies also noted more Singaporean buyers prefer to pay cash for overseas property rather than take out loans.
Investors are spending more on London real estate. A January survey by property consultancy Knight Frank found that overseas buyers spent £2.2 billion (S$4.2 billion) in the capital last year, up 22 per cent from £1.8 billion in 2011.
Singaporean buyers were the most active of the foreign contingent, accounting for 22 per cent of all new homes sold in central London last year, followed by Hong Kong buyers, who accounted for 16 per cent of transactions. British purchasers led the way with 27 per cent of the sales.
Ms Davies said now was a good time to buy in London: "We are expecting prices to increase by 5 per cent this year, and even up to 7.5 per cent in 2016."
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