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The most attractive buying spot for oversees investment is the exclusive - and ultra expensive - district of South Kensington. Bloomberg
Simon Dawson
The most attractive buying spot for oversees investment is the exclusive - and ultra expensive - district of South Kensington. Bloomberg

UAE buyers splash out on London property

Wealthy investors in the UAE ranked ninth globally last year in splashing out on pricey London real estate.

ABU DHABI // Wealthy investors from the UAE were the ninth biggest buyers of upmarket London property last year.

Emirati buyers contributed 1.5 per cent of sales above £1 million (Dh5.75m) last year, according to a review by the consultant Knight Frank.

That was helping London to weather a triple-dip recession in the UK economy and record an 8.7 per cent rise in prices.

The most attractive spot for overseas investment was the ultra-expensive district of South Kensington (76.5 per cent).

The equally affluent Kensington, Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Riverside districts made up the rest of the top five most attractive locations.

Britons invested the most, at 50.7 per cent, followed by Russia, the United States, India and France.

Liam Bailey, the firm’s global head of residential research, said that since 2010 the proportion of £1m-plus sales in London to non-UK buyers was 51 per cent.

That rose to 60 per cent for properties priced above £5m, he said.

Mr Bailey said  the city’s reputation as a “global financial centre, its political stability and transparency, as well as its lifestyle benefits” kept the UK’s costliest postcode at the top of the list for the globe-trotting elite.

Sales to Russian, US and Indian buyers remain the most prevalent,  making up more than 15 per cent of all sales last year among them.

The property picture of the rental market in London is not as rosy.

Statistics show prime central London rents declined in the last six months of last year – a 3.2 per cent drop in year-on-year figures.

jbell@thenational.ae

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