Why investors from Hong Kong are buying into the UK market

November 13, 2020

The UK’s property market benefits hugely from the flow of capital around the globe. For foreign investors, the UK has much to offer. Investors from Hong Kong, in particular, are finding themselves drawn to the UK at the moment, for a range of reasons.

“We’re seeing various factors pushing Hong Kong investors away from buying property there, while other factors are pulling them towards the UK. Political, economic and even geographic reasons are combining to create a swell of interest from Hong Kong buyers in UK property right now.”

Dale Anderson, Managing Director, Fabrik Invest

One key factor that is pushing Hong Kong investors to look overseas is their island’s major property shortage, which dwarfs that being experienced in the UK. Much of the island’s terrain is unsuitable for building. Areas that are suitable for building on are already crowded. This has led to Bloomberg labelling Hong Kong as, “the most expensive housing market on Earth.” The average home price there is $1.2 million, while the average prime property costs $6.9 million. 

Then there is the political situation. The 2019-20 Hong Kong protests have caused widespread disruption. Even with Brexit happening, the UK offers comparative political and social stability. 

The UK also has a range of attractions to capture the interest of Hong Kong buyers. Weak sterling means better property bargains. The stamp duty holiday that runs until 31 March 2021 also makes buying UK property more attractive right now. Combined with the 2% increase in stamp duty that will apply to foreign property buyers from 1 April 2021, this is encouraging many Hong Kong property investors to act quickly. 

The fact that Hong Kong residents born before 1997 hold British National Overseas (BNO) passports adds another dynamic. From 31 January 2021, those with BNO passports can apply to work or study in the UK for five years, following which they can apply for settled status. 

For those without the right to settle, another factor at play is the UK’s citizenship by investment programme. Those with £2 million to invest can essentially buy a residence permit for their entire family within eight weeks through the Tier 1 (Investor) visa. 

But it is not just those with millions to invest who are turning away from Hong Kong to focus on UK property. Chestertons has observed that Hong Kong investors are no longer sticking to the £2-15 million price bracket, but instead are looking at developing London boroughs. Often, now, the properties in their sights cost less than £500,000. 

Chatham Water in Kent is a prime example of why Hong Kong buyers are so drawn to UK properties. Completing in November 2020 and just a 36-minute commute to St Pancras International station, Chatham provides the London connectivity that is so important to many foreign investors, as well as being a bustling town in its own right, with a 20-year regeneration programme funnelling funding into a wide range of local enhancements.

“From the strength of its economy to the soundness of its legal system, the UK has a great deal to offer. It is an established investment option for foreigners looking to buy property abroad, with a competitive tax system. All in all, the UK is one of the most attractive locations in the world for Hong Kong property investors right now.”

Dale Anderson, Managing Director, Fabrik Invest

To find out more, why not get in touch with the Fabrik Invest team? You can call 020 8175 9891, email enquiries@fabrikpropertygroup.com or visit www.fabrikinvest.com.

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Wayne Venter

International Business Development Manager

Wayne has been in the property industry for over 17 years. He started out selling residential properties in the northern suburbs of Sandton, South Africa, for one of the bigger real estate brands, before moving to a boutique, Johannesburg-based property developer. He worked at a senior level, specialising in residential developments on the north coast of KZN and various other areas of Northern Johannesburg.

Wayne moved to selling luxury, free standing homes and apartments in Sandton, Johannesburg in 2006, having joined the Country’s leading real estate brand and within six months was leading the team. In 2008, he began to focus exclusively on the luxury apartments in central Sandton, priced from approximately R2 million to R60 million. Over the years, he has also added commercial property sales and rentals to his repertoire, as well as building his own investment property portfolio between 2011 and 2018.

By 2018, realising where the South African property market was headed, he sold out of his investment property portfolio to de-risk and went looking for a real estate company to buy into. South Africa’s property market was extremely volatile at that time, so Wayne took the initiative and moved to London to work in property in the UK.

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Edward Snell

Senior Property Consultant

I live in Spanish countryside with my wife and our 11 rescue dogs.

Originally from Bedford, I have two sons, two step children & 6 grandchildren.

I have a keen interest in property investment and over the years have built up a personal portfolio for the purposes of rental income and capital growth.

I have over 20 years’ experience in property investment, both in the UK & overseas.

My other interests include animal welfare, football, motorsports, travel and music

My personality is of an even temperament and I enjoy the cut and thrust of doing deals.
I am happy and successful in what I do & take great pleasure in providing my clients with successful outcomes.

I’m a good team player but work well as an individual.

Daniel Harburn

Property Sales Consultant

Daniel had a passion for property from a young age so he began his working life by undertaking a plumbing apprenticeship for a large well known UK developer to pursue a career in construction. After qualifying he soon realised that building relationships was a preferred skill of his due to his loyal and trusting nature.

From then on Daniel launched his career in sales where he worked his way to to a high performing sales person at a creative media company. Part of Daniels success in accumulating clients over the last 10 years is put down to his diligence in customer experience.

Daniel has a keen interest in golf and also in keeping himself fit which is essential as he and his fiancé have 4 year old twins, Jacob and Sofia who keep them both on their toes.

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