The proportion of total spend on exclusive London property by investors from six African countries has risen from 2-5% in the last two years, says top agent, Beauchamp Estates
Wealthy African oligarchs have more than doubled their spend on prime property in London, UK, in the last two years – and is set to grow further, a leading agent states.
African buyers now account for 5% of all ultra prime residential sales in London by value, up from 2% 24 months ago, says ultra-prime property specialist, Beauchamp Estates.
In the last three years, High Net Worth Individuals from just six African nations – Nigeria, Ghana, Congo, Gabon, Cameroon and Senegal – have spent more than £600million on luxury residential property in London’s best addresses.
Beauchamp Estates Director, Gary Hersham, says, “It is going to be the African century and these six countries are the standard-bearers in the London property market.
“Continental African buyers or luxury tenants in London are currently where the Russians and Ukrainians were five years ago. They have the resources and desire to purchase or rental luxury homes in Prime Central London, but they have less knowledge of the best properties and addresses and seek our local knowledge and insider advice on where to buy and what makes a good investment.
“At present virtually all the transactions are for end use, not rental investment, which indicates that the African buyer market in London has significant room for growth and maturity.”
There are 15 key addresses across London where wealthy African buyers have spent between £7.5million and £25million on luxury property over the last few years, with the top addresses seeing £30 million upwards spent on homes.
The areas targeted are: Eaton Square, Belgravia; Holland Park, Kensington; Addison Road, Kensington; Charles Street, Mayfair; Grosvenor Square, Mayfair; The Bishops Avenue, Hampstead; Winnington Road, Hampstead; Regents Park (mansions); Compton Avenue, Highgate; Templewood Avenue, Hampstead; Avenue Road, St Johns Wood; Campden Hill Road, Kensington; Kensington Palace Gardens, Kensington; One Hyde Park, 100 Knightsbridge and The Knightsbridge Apartments, Knightsbridge.
Eight out of 10 of the wealthy African buyers spends £15million-£25million on large family houses and one in 10 spends more than £30million on mansions. The rest buy apartments, typically costing £2million-£4million, with three or more bedrooms.
They prefer new-build or newly refurbished properties and want a home with parking, as trophy cars are a passion amongst wealthy families, says Beauchamp Estates.
Nigerians are the top spenders in London, buying more than £250million-worth of property over the last three years.
“Nigerians have been long standing property purchasers in the central London market, going back to the early 1980s. However, in the 1980s and 1990s they typically purchased houses in North London, in Hampstead, St Johns Wood and Primrose Hill,” says Mr Hersham.
Now, enhanced wealth has enabled them to move into the ultra-prime market in Mayfair, Belgravia and Knightsbridge, and have been joined by affluent purchasers from other West African and French equatorial states.”
Other frequent visitors to London who prefer to rent, spend £10,000-£15,000 per week on a top London property.
The main reasons for the African super-rich buy luxury property in London is growing wealth of domestic economies, cultural and community ties with London and education of children, with
Nigerian nationals alone spending more than £300million a year in Britain on private school fees and tutoring.
Continental African buyers currently account for just 1.5% of the total number of sales transactions in the ultra-prime London market, but because 70% of them buy expensive houses, they make up 5% of sales value.
They tend to have three distinct methods of visiting and staying in London. First time or infrequent visitors tend to stay in the five-star hotels on Park Lane, midway between Selfridges and Harrods, the top two luxury shopping destinations.
Tourism figures from the Office of National Statistics show that more than 140,000 Nigerians visit the UK annually, and Nigerian nationals are now London’s fourth biggest overseas shoppers by spend, averaging £628 in each shop. Premier Tax Free reports that Continental Africa is now the fastest-growing region for international sales in the UK, rising 45% year on year.
More frequent visitors – many with business connections in the UK – tend to rent a luxury apartment in Mayfair, Belgravia or Knightsbridge, typically for £2,500-£5,000 per week, or on short-let for £10,000-£15,000 per week. They tend to stay in London for anything from six weeks up to three months per year.
The third group – who have family connections and/or children at private school in the UK – tend to purchase a home for end use in Mayfair, Belgravia or Knightsbridge.
By Adrian Bishop, Editor, OPP Connect