London Leads the Way for the World’s Super-rich

Last week, we featured a ‘bedroom’ under a staircase available to rent in London for five hundred pounds. This week, a report shows that London has become the property playground for people who can afford a staircase in their bedroom. Made out of platinum. London now leads the way in the global prime property league having in the space of five years left former leaders Hong Kong and New York standing. The Knight Franks report details how in 2009 sales of $2m-$5m in London stood at 2,147 but by 2014 had nearly tripled to 6,250. And, 1,638 properties sold for in excess of $5m compared to a paltry 796 in Manhattan and 258 in Sydney.  With demand among the world’s super rich for ultra-prime London properties outstripping supply, the bubble shows no signs of bursting anytime soon.


Cynics may say this demand is driven by London becoming a safe tax haven for the global super-rich even when the source of their wealth isn’t known.  We, of course, couldn’t possibly comment on the billions flooding in from the British Virgin Islands.

End to Spain’s Property Pain?

While the world’s super-rich may see London property as a safe place to launder, sorry, invest, their millions, what about us Brits? When we’ve saved and scrimped over the years, where do we fancy heading off to? It used to be sunny Spain: so popular a destination that the BBC created a soap opera set among ex-pats there, the much missed and much lauded, El Dorado. Spain joining the Euro, however, put paid to many of the financial perks of being there, leading to an exodus of walnut-skinned Brits clutching sombreros and Spanish straw donkeys. But, according to one overseas mortgage specialist, Spain has recovered from its property siesta and regained its place as the preferred destination for Brits buying abroad.


Clare Nessling, director at overseas mortgage specialists, told The Daily Express: “Spain remains top of the list for British buyers, accounting for roughly half of our enquiries.”  With demand starting to grow, prices are beginning to pick up, but you can still get yourself a holiday or retirement home at prices lower than the 2008 financial cash. The other most popular destination for overseas property purchases were France, Portugal, Turkey then Italy.


Latest UK Property Hotspots – Report

London may lead the way in the ultra-prime market but there’s plenty of property hotspots around the UK and on the outskirts of London that continue to offer great property investing opportunities. Online estate agent emoov published their latest quarterly figures, highlighting places where demand is outstripping supply the most and some of them are quite surprising.  For example, Bexley in the south east of Greater London has demand at 77% – demand being calculated not by a price index but by homes sold against homes registered for sale on popular sites like Rightmove, Unsurprisingly, it’s on London’s commuter belt that demand is greatest but there’s plenty of places outside the metropolis witnessing high growth demand. Such as Chester in the North West.


The elegant old city has seen a huge 164% growth in demand, the largest in the country, while there’s been some big movers in less fashionable places such as Tameside in Greater Manchester and Dudley.  Aberdeen, meanwhile, holds the wooden spoon for demand falling the most over the last year. Check out the hotspots and cold spots in The Telegraph’s report below

Houses v Flats: Price Rises Last 10 Years

The news is nothing if not contradictory. So much information to digest, and so much of it offering opposed points of view. Recently, we highlighted a report that a 3 bedroom property represented the best size of home for property investing, and now we bring you a report saying that flats are rising in value faster than houses. To join up the dots, does this then mean a 3 bedroom flat is the investment ideal? Apparently not.  According to research carried out by the Halifax, flats have been rising faster in value than houses for the last ten years. The average flat having risen 60% compared to an average house rise of 34%. But sales of flats have actually gone down in the last ten years compared to the previous decade, indicating again the ‘London effect’, with the huge inflation in London flat prices skewing the national average data. You can sift the data for yourself here.


How to Protect Your Property

And finally we turn to the property story that’s been generating the biggest buzz on social media networks this week, and what do you know, it involves animals. Nothing like a cute or plucky animal to hit the emotional sweet spot that sparks a viral frenzy. And this week’s plucky animal was a French bulldog who gamely saw off a couple of intruders. Given the intruders were bears, you can see why French bulldogs will figure prominently on security-conscious people’s Christmas wish-list this year.