Concurrent with a growing portfolio of unique and beautiful homes comes increased interest from overseas buyers, looking for an idyllic second home or primary residence.

Paul, our Finance Director, took time out from recent business meetings in Hong Kong to sound out prospective property investors about their criteria and preferences.

Like most cultures, social relationships build trust and spawn great business. As you can see, Paul managed plenty of the former!

Property prices (£2,5k per sq. foot) are higher in Hong Kong than Sussex and Kent which, combined with a relatively weak £ (by historical standards) means the purchasing power of the overseas buyer is significant. The majority live in high rise blocks within easy reach of Central where there are few, if any, houses.

Over dinners and drinks Paul noted these categories of prospective buyers:

  • Returning expatriates
  • Hong Kong nationals taking up the offer of UK citizenship to make a new life
  • Hong Kong nationals looking for a bolt hole, ‘just in case’.

Most people seek a secure and safe environment in which to live and work. Ana observed this while working in her homeland where she sold properties to prominent and prosperous buyers from among others, Brazil, China and Turkey all of whom cited safety and quality of life as the main reasons for selecting Portugal.

Paul recalls it came up a few years ago while in China.

Four years ago a prominent businesswoman asked me over dinner in Xian, “Will the UK be a good place to invest in once it has left the EU?”  I replied, “Many years ago while meeting with a Saudi client to discuss his portfolio, I asked what his number one criteria for making a property investment was. He replied, ‘Would I go there for a holiday'” The Chinese businesswoman nodded and said yes, she would still visit the UK for a holiday as it’s safe and there is a rule of law that is adhered to.

The trend towards discretely marketed properties to members of a VIP Buyers Club is attractive to many overseas buyers keen to maintain a low profile.

And finally, a flat white costs HK$50 whereas the taxi fare for a 10 minute ride usually works out at HK$30!


Stop Press: May 23

Research by Benham and Reeves shows that the place with the most owners of properties in England and Wales is Hong Kong.