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Asian Buyers Dominate London Property Market

Buy what you know, close to home, the buy-to-let saying goes. This was ignored by investors in a conference room at Hong Kong's Mandarin Oriental recently, where investors mainly Chinese and some British ex-pats exchanged on properties thousands of miles away in Stratford, east London.

The buying frenzy was for Capital Towers, a Galliard Homes scheme that consists of 191 canal side units costing from £280,000. Due for completion in the summer of 2016, the development benefits from its an adjacent location to the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre and excellent public transport links into central London. With house prices soaring in Hong Kong and measures in place such as stamp duty increases and restricted loans to quell the market, overseas property investment is an attractive proposition. Investors from Hong Kong, Singapore and China see London as a safe haven for investment, with strong exchange rates against the weak pound, London has become affordable.

'' Developers fan the flames, releasing schemes in Asia first.''

In Hong Kong, most properties are sold off plan so buyers are used to purchasing properties in this way. Developers now prefer to launch their schemes in Asia, which is fanning the flames for UK buyers competing for what limited housing stock is available. Developers will of course argue that this form of marketing was brought on by the UK banks in 2008 when lending froze and left them with no choice but to explore the overseas markets for buyers.

Another big draw for the Asian market, is the exclusivity they are offered. Buyers at exhibitions know that they are the first to be offered the developments and as such with be healthy premiums to secure properties before the marketing goes global.

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