Weaker British Pound Provides Property Bargains for Middle East Investors

Overseas investors are receiving an effective bonus of £40,000 off the purchase of a UK buy to let, according to leading lettings agency Benham and Reeves.

The agency has analysed the current property market values and how they compare to a year ago. The research shows that since February 2022 the average UK sold price has increased by 7.8 per cent to £294,329 today. 

In the London market, the average value of a home has increased by 4.8 per cent, commanding a price of £543,099 in current market conditions. 

However, the exchange rate fluctuations and a weakening British Pound compared to some currencies have presented an opportunity for foreign buyers to secure a saving. 

In February of last year, the average UK house price of £273,066 would have required a buyer from the US to spend $369,459. Today, however, the higher average UK house price of £294,329 would see them spend just $355,079, a saving of $14,381 or £12,161, despite the increased value of UK real estate. 

This saving is even higher in a more inflated London market, where purchasing at the current London average of £543,099 would require them to spend $655,195 versus the $700,993 they would have spent in February of last year, a difference of $45,799 or £38,730. 

Buyers from the United Arab Emirates have also benefited to the same extent, saving 3.9 per cent or AED 52,717 on their purchase, climbing to AED 167,986 or 6.5 per cent in London. That’s the equivalent of £12,142 saved on the average UK home or £38,690 on the average London home. 

The UK continues to be a popular destination of choice for Hong Kong homebuyers, and they too have seen the cost of purchasing a UK home fall, down by 3.3 per cent when compared to this time last year, a saving of HK$95,145 or £10,254. 

Again, in London, Hong Kong nationals are enjoying savings as high as 6.0 per cent on the average cost of a home in the capital, reducing their purchase price by HK$325,801 or £35,111. 

However, not all foreign buyers are benefiting to the same extent. The Euro has failed to provide a discount on the average UK house price, with European buyers paying 1.9 per cent more today versus a year ago, while those looking to London are seeing a marginal saving of 0.9 per cent.

Foreign buyers from China are paying the equivalent of £10,868 more today versus a year ago on the average UK home, With Japanese buyers also paying the equivalent of £5,391 more today. 

“We’re yet to see any notable reduction in house prices and, in fact, the latest sold price figures show that they have continued to climb across both London and the UK as a whole” explains the director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr.

“This demonstrates the tenacity of the property market even during times of economic uncertainty and highlights why so many foreign buyers look to the UK when investing in bricks and mortar. 

“We’ve seen a steady stream of foreign interest returning to the market, particularly across London, pretty much since Covid travel restrictions were lifted. However, a weakening pound has enticed them to an even greater extent, as many are now enjoying a substantial discount when purchasing versus the price, they would have paid a year ago when property values were lower.”

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