Thai investors have long considered London a choice destination for an overseas property purchase, but the decline of the British pound in the aftermath of Brexit has bolstered buying interest among those looking to take advantage of this rare opportunity.
The pound has depreciated by about 12 per cent against the Thai baht since June. Buying interest is clearly on the upswing among a handful of wealthy Thais who have been considering London for the past one or two years but have not made a decision.
Local dailies report that the post-Brexit impact of a weaker pound has become a trigger for these buyers to move ahead with their purchases.
The majority of Thai buyers in London are parents with children studying in Britain. As one of a handful of locations offering worldclass education, the UK saw a 40 per cent increase in international students between 2007 and 2014, adding purchasers and tenants alike to the local property market.
Between 2012 and 2013, more than 1,600 Thais attended universities in London. With this number increasing continuously, educational activities will remain a key driver of Thai demand for London properties. London authorities assume that this will continue to feed a stream of new buyers into the market every year.
Generally, the preference among Thai buyers is for units in new developments as they don’t have to worry about
renovation, and maintenance is easier as well. New developments such as Lincoln Square; Fitzroy Place; The Tower, One St George Wharf; and 190 Strand have done particularly well with the Thai crowd.
Also on their radar, said international property consultant CBRE, are areas which have been regenerated and redeveloped within the central London area.
For Thai buyers, a property in London serves the purpose of providing accommodation for their children during
their school years abroad, while it also serves their own lifestyle needs. However, at end of the day, it is also the prospect of capital appreciation that has lured them in droves to the British capital.
Price appreciation of residential properties in Westminster has been 10.8 per cent year-on-year, 29.6 per cent in the
past three years and 64.3 per cent in the past five years. Today, with the pound at an all-time low, the Thais feel that there has never been a better time to move forward with their purchasing decision.