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London Property Market Awash with opportunity

September 21, 2009Article by Ray Withers

Everyone knows that UK house prices are currently rising. Most people know that this growth is being fuelled by weak supply. But what is less commonly known: is that prices are only rising in 11% of the country, and it is these price rises that are creating the picture of rises throughout the UK. This is because the short-supply of quality property is causing a seller’s market, and prices are rising massively in these areas. Everywhere else prices are still falling.

London is one of those areas. In London it is not just short supply that is causing properties to sell at well above what the current market would dictate, but the influx of cash-rich Europeans coming in to take advantage of the strength of the Euro vs Sterling to get into London property investment.

The Europeans tend to be looking for larger properties at the top end of the price scale, and it just so happens that it is these which are in the shortest of supply. During the boom London property was the most expensive in the world, and, according to Knight Frank, prime London property grew in value faster than any other type of property anywhere else in the world. It is a testament to the London property market that, while prices have fallen because of the downturn, they look like being the quickest to bounce back.

London is filled with wonder and prestige, and property in London is some of the most sought after in the world. Unfortunately — as was mentioned — it is also among the most expensive. That said: the downturn has led to London property becoming more affordable than it has been for nearly two decades.

This is because there are many opportunities to purchase distressed properties for sale in London, including short-sale and bank-owned flats, apartments and houses at below market value. These opportunities allow investors or families to purchase houses or apartments in the capital at massively discounted prices. Buying a house in London — once something only the well off could do — is now possible for almost anyone who has a job and a few grand in savings.

But the particularly special opportunity in London property investment is that you can currently purchase prime London real estate (property worth more than a million) for anything up to half or even a third of the price. These properties will be among the first to recover, prices will be among the fastest to grow, and there is even the possibility of buying to flip for a big profit by selling to one of the aforementioned rich Europeans.


Ray Withers

Ray has over 17 years’ experience in the international property market and bought his own first international property investment back in 2002. Aside from running Property Frontiers, Ray has been involved in residential, hotel, student and commercial property investment and development in both the UK and overseas and co-wrote "Where to Buy Property Abroad - An Investor's Guide". As Founder and Trustee of the Frontiers Foundation, Ray is directly involved with many of its projects to ensure they have a direct and tangible impact in individual communities across the globe. He is passionate about property, travelling, scouting out new opportunities and finding time to spend with his young family.
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