The UK property market, renowned for its stability and growth potential, has become a focal point for international investors seeking exciting opportunities. In this context, Berkeley Group places a distinctive emphasis on its long-term goals within the GCC region, aiming to facilitate investors’ entry into the UK property market.
The path to UK property: Insights from GCC buyers
The GCC market has experienced a remarkable surge in purchase enquiries in the UK recently. Notably, Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves, highlights this upward trajectory in demand, particularly in the prime market segment valued at £3 million and above. This surge in interest aligns with the overall market trend and showcases the resilience of the UK property market in captivating GCC investors.
Will McKintosh, Senior Director at JLL, Head of Residential & Investment – MENA, notes the common belief among investors that purchasing off-plan holds strategic advantages. By buying off-plan, investors anticipate potential currency gains and expect interest rates to have corrected by handover, making financing more favourable. The convergence of these factors makes UK property investments even more appealing to GCC investors.
Motivating Factors for GCC Buyers: Unlocking the Allure of UK Property
The allure of UK property for GCC buyers is multifaceted, with the prospect of long-term value appreciation and attractive financing opportunities standing out. With the British pound recently hitting its lowest level against the US dollar in nearly 40 years, the relative weakness of the pound sterling against other major currencies, including the AED, further enhances the appeal of UK property investments. This currency advantage empowers foreign investors to maximise the value of their investments and potentially amplify returns. The opportunity presented by the pound’s current position is not lost on investors, and the GCC region’s investors are well-poised to capitalise on these favourable market conditions.
Rising demand from the GCC Market: A statistical perspective
In 2022, both Saudi Arabia and the UAE secured positions in the top 10 countries outside the EU for international students studying in the UK. This educational connection underlines a strong bilateral relationship and augments the appeal of UK property investments for GCC investors. Middle Eastern investors are also projected to inject US$3.2 billion into the UK real estate market in 2024. This influx of capital is driven by the market’s increasing affordability and a growing interest in the student accommodation sector. As GCC investors diversify their portfolios, the UK’s real estate market emerges as an attractive avenue for long-term gains and financial stability.
Adam Demetriou is Director – Berkeley MEA & India
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