Luxury properties in London have always been a big hit with Middle Eastern investors. But there’s been a recent surge in wealthy Gulf investors snapping up luxury property across three of the most sought-after addresses in London, according to bespoke property services agent Rokstone.
“We are seeing a significant surge in enquiries and sales from wealthy Middle East buyers, with a 30% rise over the last four months,” said Becky Fatemi, managing director of Rokstone, in a statement to Quartz. “What is interesting is that the Gulf investors are focusing all of their interest in buying property in the ‘platinum triangle’ of Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Mayfair. Go outside of this trio of addresses and their interest in buying declines significantly.”
Rokstone, who notes that demand is at least in part driven “by the political and economic instability in the Gulf region,” says there has been a 20% rise in enquiries from Qatar, a 15% rise in enquiries from Bahrain, and a 5% rise in applicants from Yemen. It also said that over 70% of Middle East buyers only purchase property within 10-15 minutes walk of Harrods, the luxury department store in London’s Knightsbridge neighborhood.
Citing data from property-research firm Lonres, Rokstone said that among residential sales above £10 million in 2017, only Belgravia, Knightsbridge, and Mayfair saw their values hold firm while properties in other areas have started to decline.
This includes the formerly sought-after area of Hampstead where Middle Eastern buyers had previously snapped up properties in droves in the 1980s and 1990s. Now, considered “too far out” from central London says Rokstone, the difference between the asking and final selling prices is down by over 36%—the biggest drop of any luxury address in the capital.