Property Plus

London calling

Central London requires 2,25,000 new property for use in various categories  

Indians are sure lapping up property in the U.K. The Indian community settled there has emerged as the highest investor in several parts of the country, including London. Investing over £ 1billion in luxury homes in Central London since the beginning of 2013, Indians are expected to spend nearly £ 500 million more on redevelopment in the next five years, according to research reports from London-based real estate consultants Knight Frank. “Indians in the U.K. as a buyer community turned out the second only to the resident British population, as they have invested in locations such as Mayfair, Holland Park, Kensington and Belgravia,” says Satish B.N., Executive Director-South, Knight Frank-India.

Says Peter Bolton King, Global Residential Director, RICS-London, “Investors find London safe with stable government and economy. People say ‘Most of your policemen don’t even carry a gun,’ which in reality is re-assuring for investors! And London, the abode of the ultra-rich, is driving the Indian elite to plough in their millions into real estate,” he says. Mr. King also said that according to official figures, Central London requires 2,25,000 new property for use in various categories, so ‘buy-for-conversion’ will soon be a trend.

Indian ultra high net worth individuals have turned their backs on a faltering real estate market in their home country and are buying up super-flats, estates and hotels in London, reads a report from luxury property agents, Wetherell.

“The U.K. market seems lucrative in the long run,” explains Farook Mahmood, President, FIABCI, World Council of Brokers, and CMD, Silverline Realty.

“The Gujaratis, Punjabis and a smattering of South Indians who already own a major share of the motels and hotels find that agricultural land on the outskirts of London is economical with costs hovering around £ 10,000 per acre. They expect urbanised conversions gradually with newer legislations down the years. Even if it is retained for agriculture, it is rewarding with 75 per cent available from loans,” he says. “A decade of depressed prices finally opened up after the London Olympics,” Mr. Farook added.

Crucial factors

* Indian investment accounted for 55 per cent or £ 241 million of overseas investment in the second quarter of 2014.

* Indians have spent almost £ 450 million purchasing 221 residences in central London at St. John’s Wood, Belgravia and Mayfair.

* British buyers accounted for 30 per cent of property in Mayfair, while wealthy Indians snapped up 25 per cent. Middle Eastern, continental European and Russian buyers accounted for 13 per cent of purchases each in the London region.

*Amongst the Indian developers Lodha Group has purchased the Canadian High Commission building in Grosvenor Square for (approx) £ 306 million for converting the seven-floor 135,000 sq. ft floor space into 20 luxury homes.

*India Bulls’ purchase of 22 Hanover Square for £155 million is also up for residential conversion.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 9:00:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/homes-and-gardens/london-calling/article6426778.ece

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