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Hong Kong buyers dominate 17 London boroughs, study shows

Hong Kong buyers currently have the biggest property footprint within the London market, new research from Benham and Reeves shows.

The agent’s property market analysis delves into which segment of the international market is more prevalent in each London borough, as well as a number of major cities outside of London. 

It looked at the total number of residential property titles registered to overseas individuals in each borough, then broke this figure down by nationality to reveal which nation was most prevalent in each pocket of the market. 


Buyers from Hong Kong account for the highest proportion of residential homes registered to foreign addresses in a total of 17 boroughs.

Interestingly, Barking and Dagenham is home to the highest percentage of Hong Kong homes, with the nation accounting for 31% of all foreign-registered properties.

Hong Kongers also top the table in Tower Hamlets (26%), Newham (24%), Lewisham (23%), Hackney (23%), Greenwich (22%), Southwark (21%), Islington (20%), Brent (19%), Hammersmith and Fulham (16%), Camden (16%), Barnet (15%), Croydon (13%), Waltham Forest (12%), Redbridge (11%), Wandsworth (11%) and Ealing (8%), 

Jersey nationals are the next most prevalent in the London market, accounting for the most foreign-registered properties in a total of four boroughs including Hillingdon (14%), Westminster (13%), Kensington and Chelsea (10%) and Richmond (10%), as well as the City of London (17%)

Meanwhile, Cypriots ranked top in Enfield (18%) and Haringey (13%), while Singapore nationals topped the table in Havering (49%) and Hounslow (75%).

The UAE accounted for the most foreign-registered homes in Sutton (22%) and Bromley (17%), while in Bexley it’s the United States (14%), in Harrow it’s Saudi Arabia (11%), in Lambeth it’s the Netherlands (16%), in Merton it’s Guernsey (10%) and in Kingston it’s China (12%).

Outside of the capital, Hong Kong nationals also accounted for the highest percentage of foreign-registered homes in Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool, while the Irish topped the table in Sheffield and Nottingham and Jersey ranked top in Newcastle and Bristol.

Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves, comments: “International homeowners form a considerable part of the UK property market and London, in particular, has suffered due to a drop in demand as a result of Covid travel restrictions.”

“You’d need only look at the variety of nationalities that are most prevalent in each borough to see how important this segment of homeowners is to the London market, especially Hong Kong buyers who have been investing in the UK market in their droves since buy-to-let was launched in mid-nineties, with this interest being bolstered further still with the introduction of the BNO visa scheme.”

He concludes: “Now that UK travel restrictions have been lifted, we expect to see an uplift in international demand throughout the remainder of the year, which, in turn, will help boost what has been a somewhat beleaguered London market in recent months.”


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