11% rise in number of Indian homebuyers in london: Knight Frank

Knight Frank report

Mayfair, Belgravia, Hyde Park, Marylebone and St John’s Wood most preferred locations, profile of wealthy Indian buyers becoming younger.

London property market continues to remain one of the preferred destinations for wealthy Indians, with a latest report by leading property consultancy Knight Frank – London Super-Prime Sales Market Insight-Winter 2019 – showing an 11% year-on-year increase in the number of Indian homebuyers in prime London markets in the 12 months to June 2019.

The main areas of interest for Indian homebuyers are: Mayfair, Belgravia, Hyde Park, Marylebone and St John’s Wood. An effective discount of about 20%, taking into account the currency and price movements in prime central London in the period between the EU referendum and October 2019, has benefitted Indian buyers.

The report highlights that the profile of wealthy Indian buyers are becoming younger, with those kind of investors keen to spend time in other areas of the world including London, rapidly coming up. The average age of super-prime buyers in London is falling, with some 73% of super-prime buyers below 50 in the year to September 2019, which was up from less than half at the start of 2015.

As revealed in the Knight Frank Wealth Report 2019, which was released earlier this year, 21% of Indian UHNWIs showed affinity towards purchasing homes outside of their domicile country, out of which 79% are looking to make property investment in the United Kingdom (UK), higher than both the Asian and Global average.

Comparative analysis of regions where Asian, Indian & Global UHNWI are looking to invest:

Australia United States United Kingdom Canada Singapore
Asian UHNWIs 41% 36% 32% 27% 20%
Indian UHNWIs 14% 52% 79% 10% 14%
Global average 18% 42% 32% 13% 4%

SourceThe Wealth Report Attitudes Survey 2019

Brexit-related political uncertainty is the primary reason, however, that some buyers and vendors are still hesitating, the London Super-Prime Sales report said, adding that, once the political uncertainty recedes, the level of pent-up demand that has formed in recent years is likely to start moving and suggests that the conditions are in place for an increase in trading activity.

Knight Frank report Shishir Baijal, Chairman & Managing Director of Knight Frank India, said “London has always been a hotspot for Indian investors due to its economic and political importance. Despite the recent political and economic developments, the long-term economic fundamentals for the market has remained strong and is therefore continuing to generate interest amongst Indians looking to purchasing properties outside of the country. When compared to investments in Indian markets, the yields for both capital and rental are higher. As the domestic economy hits a slow block, we can expect Indians to continue the momentum of investments in a mature market such as London that offers higher returns and relatively shorter hold period.”

Alasdair Pritchard, Knight Frank Private Office and Knight Frank’s ambassador to India, said “London will always remain an interesting market for wealthy Indian buyers. Many have an affinity to it– enjoying the history, the culture and lifestyle on offer. A large number also send their children to the UK to be educated, investing in property at the same time.”

“With Indian capital flow restrictions in place, many are limited to spending half of what their appetite would have been previously but despite this, in the 12 months to June 2019, we’ve seen an increase of 11% in the number of Indian buyers purchasing property in the prime London market compared to the previous 12 months. The areas of particular interest to these buyers include Mayfair, Belgravia, Hyde Park, Marylebone and St John’s Wood. A key trend we’re seeing amongst Indian purchasers is that there is a younger generation of investors coming through – younger generations of wealthy families who are keen to spend time in other areas of the world including London, the US and Dubai,” added Pritchard.

In terms of super-prime properties, or homes priced above £10 million, global buyers spent a total of £2.06 billion in London in the year to May 2019, marginally higher than a figure of £2.05 billion in the previous 12 months, as high net-worth individuals take advantage of the weak pound.

While this underlines the resilience of demand against an uncertain political backdrop, overall transaction volumes fell 13% to 104 from 120, the report said.