Next wave of super-rich heading for London as new crises bite

Saturday, February 8, 2014
By Paul Martin

BY CHRIS VELLACOTT
Reuters.com
Fri Feb 7, 2014

Political and financial upheaval in some of the world’s largest emerging economies is driving a new wave of rich migrants to London’s supercharged property market as a place to park their wealth, data from a leading real estate agency showed on Friday.

Knight Frank, a specialist in upmarket properties, said it had seen online enquiries about British homes from crisis-hit countries such as Argentina, Ukraine and Turkey soar over the past year.

“There is potentially a further wave of investment headed for the prime central London property market,” Tom Bill, associate in the Knight Frank residential research team, told Reuters.

This is despite prices in London already having risen sharply after a rush of foreign buyers of London mansions, prompted by the Euro zone debt crisis and the Arab spring, along with Britain’s political stability and benign property taxes.

Prices in London overall in the three months to December were 14.9 percent higher than a year earlier, according to figures from mortgage lender Nationwide, and some top-end values have inflated even more, driving prices in Britain’s capital beyond the reach of most residents and making it a hot political topic.

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