London is a long-established safe haven for foreign buyers, but recent media reports suggest that the city could be losing its lustre for investors. A top London estate agent tells OPP that investors might just be looking in the wrong places.
Although there have been media reports of the London market slowing down, John Ennis, area director of UK agent Foxtons, says it’s still a good bet for foreign buyers. “There are still a very large number of reasons why people should be investing in London. There are still a lot of interesting postcodes and opportunities – postcodes that have the potential of growing above and over the average rate in London.”
Mr Ennis will be presenting a seminar on Friday 28 November at OPPLive London 2014, where he will talk about the overseas buyers in London. He will be focusing on where foreign buyers are looking, which areas are good buys and which are mistakes – and how agents can make money by helping their clients find the right property.
He told OPP Connect that some overseas buyers can lose out on the best investment opportunities. “Sometimes they’re not prepared. By that I mean that they don’t have enough intel or the right setup, so it can take too long to make the decision. Sometimes they don’t have the support network – lawyers, etc – or the right monies in the country.”
Some lost opportunities can come from cultural differences, Mr Ennis explained. “There are certain lived-in properties that might represent good returns, but a buyer from, say, the middle east might want to go for something new.
“Equally, if you look at some investment markets a lot of buyers operate like end users – they are looking for something they’d want to live in rather than for a return on investment and equity; which is fine, but there might be better investments around.”
Part of Mr Ennis’ seminar will focus on potential investment areas that are often overlooked. “To give an example, Zone 2 – and therefore in the future Zone 3,” he told us. “Some people use their eyes rather than their minds, so they’ll see something and think ‘oh, that doesn’t look very nice,’ but they won’t look at the quantum factors.
“A quantum factor is something that can drive an area value over and above the norm in the future. London is predicted to grow at 7% next year, and we’ll be looking at why certain postcodes and pockets will be growing in double figures.”
OPPLive’s packed seminar programme is free to attend. Register here