Skipton International, the Guernsey-licensed bank, stated that in the first quarter of 2021, mortgage completions with HK-links tripled when compared to the same period of 2020. With the bank suggesting that London and South East of England were the most popular purchases with North West and Midlands following closely behind.

The two likely reasons for this increase in completions has been due to the additional two per cent stamp duty surcharge on overseas buyers of UK residential properties – which came into effect a month ago – plus the original stamp duty land tax holiday deadline were said to be the two most likely causes of the increase in quarter one.

However, though the holiday is coming to an end, demand has continued to stay strong. This is due to the fact that the UK is deemed by many as a stable jurisdiction with current low interest rate environment, many Hong Kong investors are looking to get their hand in the UK residential market. Roger Hughes, the business development manager at Skipton International states that by opening their UK mortgage propositions to include applicants from non-UK national’s resident overseas, and they have seen increased activity not only from British Expats but also from other nationalities including Chinese nationals’ resident in Hong Kong.

With foreign buyers accounting for 41 per cent of this market activity, London has seen a boost of £3.32 billion thanks to foreign interest in the UK rental market.

Buyers from Hong Kong and the USA have also been investing heavily in the market, each accounting for 9.2 per cent; meanwhile China and India account for 8.3 and 7.3 per cent of this niche respectively.

“Despite the current pandemic, foreign buyers continue to see London as an attractive investment, and this is evident based on the healthy level of transactions taking place and the sold prices secured” explains Arthur Sarkisian, managing director of Astons.

How has the international market been for you? Have you seen the same kind of international demand or has it been more local?

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