Gulf investors eye for property in foreign land especially London; Knight Frank

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Gulf-based high-net-worth families have been returning to property investments in the last six months as the real-estate market recovers from the worst effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the leading independent global property consultancy, Knight Frank.

London remains the favorite market, though France, Spain and Italy have also attracted interest in recent months, with investor sentiment driven by buoyant oil prices and improved outlooks for GCC banks, stated Mr. Henry Faun, the partner at Knight Frank’s Middle East private office.

The US markets of Boston and Manhattan, New York, are also of interest to GCC families, many of whom may be seeking a home in either of these locations while their children are studying in one of the cities’ prestigious universities, Mr. Faun said.

However, since the outbreak of the pandemic, interest in Asian markets, such as Singapore and Hong Kong, has waned. Despite the fact that local markets, particularly in Singapore, are booming as a result of a slew of new launches, Gulf Arabs have stayed away. Data gathered by Knight Frank indicates the importance of free travel without restrictions to the international property market.

The research shows that the annual house prices in Prime Central London (PCL) were 5 percent down year-on-year in May 2020, as arrivals at London’s Heathrow Airport fell to zero, and saw an annual increase of over 7 percent by November 2021 as arrivals reached 3 million.

In recent weeks, Gulf investors have shown interest in branded residences such as luxury apartments in New York’s Waldorf Astoria and London’s The Whiteley, but on the commercial side, they are searching for properties that can provide them with long-term income for eight to 10 years, added Mr. Faun.

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