It’s a commonly held understanding that luxury and new build apartments are often marketed to overseas investors (sometimes even before being offered to UK residents), however often you think about this being city centre schemes such as Kidbrooke Village and other large developments.
Well… it may (or may not) come as a shock to you that apartments in Chatham Waters are being marketed by Savills to overseas investors in Hong Kong. As there’s a significant housing need for the UK market, as you can imagine this has had local residents up in arms!
Chatham Waters is a development of up to 950 new homes including commercial, retail, leisure, and retail spaces. As far as I know from speaking with local agents, the apartments are actually becoming quite difficult to sell to local Medway residents and with a price tag of £227,500 – £368,000 compared to the average price of an apartment in Medway being £174,710 it’s no surprise!
So, why do the big developers offer overseas investors properties in the UK? Well, a recent conversation I had with an investor who has connections with one of the big UK developers is that properties are often sold off plan overseas investors at a slightly inflated price to give the mortgage valuations a plumb line to go by. Ok, so this is purely hearsay, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there is a vein of truth in it.
Further research into the local market shows that 22 properties on Knights Wood development in Tunbridge Wells were purchased by Hong Kong buyers in October last year!
When we look at the property market in Hong Kong, it’s no surprise that the UK is an attractive proposition; particularly given last year’s incredible growth and the average cost of a house price in Hong King being about £940,000!
What do I think of overseas investors snapping up UK real estate? Ok, so this is obviously a sensitive topic, however my opinion is that provided houses are not sitting empty but available to rent on the open market I feel that there is a contribution made towards helping ease the UK’s housing crisis.
What is interesting about the Chatham Waters development being marketed to overseas investors, however, is how a growing number of Hong Kong nationals are seeking property in the UK to live in themselves. I’ve read that as much as 60-70% of clients from Hong Kong are actually looking to purchase property in the UK for this reason.
What’s the positive sign for investors? Well… I think it’s an indication of how attractive the local market really is! I always encourage investors to look at future potential and with London continuing to expand (however some further changes are expected probably given the example by the Government to call ministers back to the office), I really can only see the Medway market going in one direction in the years to come.
What’s my advice? Always buy the right property at the right price, however, remember… the best time to buy is ALWAYS a decade ago, so as long as you’re looking for the long-term then property is proven to be a strong asset class!
I wonder if you have any opinions on the marketing of Chatham Waters to overseas buyers? I’d be keen to hear what you have to say. The best way to get in touch is through LinkedIn.