Lack of Overseas Buyers Hits London’s Property Market

Lack of Overseas Buyers Hits London’s Property Market
26/09/2020 , by , in INTERNATIONAL

Wealthy international buyers are conspicuous by their absence in parts of central London. Some streets remain eerily quiet and free from the supercars that regular visitors like to bring over for the summer.

The lack of buyers and renters from overseas has hit the local sales and lettings markets. While parts of the country underwent something of a “mini boom” when the housing market reopened after the Covid-19 shutdown the UK’s average property price surged in August to record levels, according to Nationwide demand for London’s prime homes has been slower to bounce back.

In July and August, the number of homes sold (exchanged) across London’s prime areas across all price brackets was down by 24 per cent compared with the same period in 2019, according to data from LonRes, a research company. The biggest declines were for cheaper homes — sales of those priced under £1m dropped 36 per cent; for those priced between £2m and £3m, transactions were down 24 per cent.

However, for the capital’s most luxurious homes, those priced above £5m — where sales tend to be less reliant on credit — transactions in July and August were actually significantly higher than they were last year: up 31 per cent on the same period in 2019. In central London, where international buyers have been unable to view homes because of travel restrictions, prime registrations were down nearly 20 per cent.

The modular housing project is a collaboration between three local organisations. Jimmy’s Cambridge is a Cambridge charity providing emergency help, support and accommodation for people experiencing homelessness. Jimmy’s was involved in the overall modular homes project planning and organisation as well as the ongoing support for residents.

Social enterprise the New Meaning Foundation was responsible for constructing the modular housing units. Allia, a social enterprise supporting organisations and projects with space, support and access to capital, brought the different organisations involved together and also organised the financing of the scheme.

The Cambridge “mods” – as they are called by the residents – have 25sqm of floor space, with separate living and cooking, sleeping and bathroom areas. They are equipped with appliances such as a cooker, TV and washing machine, and were outfitted ready for their residents to move in.

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