Brexit: UK property market lures more Qataris

The Brexit-induced fall in the value of British pound has evoked significant response from Qatari private investors to buy properties in the UK.

The UK has traditionally been one of the most preferred investment destinations of Qatari investors, but the recent sharp fall in the pound value coupled with the significant discount offered by real estate owners, has increased enquiries from potential Qatari investors.

“Qatari investors own approximately £1bn (QR4.7bn) worth of residential properties in London, with the majority in Mayfair. …and out of all the Gulf states, Qatar is the largest buyer and tenant group for luxury property within Mayfair,” said Ravvy Kaur (pictured), Valuation Advisor at DTZ Qatar told The Peninsula.

“Consultation with our London office has revealed that there is a 25 percent jump in the number of enquiries from potential investors from the Middle East, including Qatar, the UAE (Dubai) and Saudi Arabia after the referendum on Brexit in June,” Ravvy said.

The surge in enquiries was largely due to the up to 25 percent discounts the investors are now getting as compared to the pre-Brexit prices— nearly 14 percent on the exchange rate and some 10 percent discounts on the asking prices of properties.

Ravvy, who is also a surveyor and market analyst, noted that the prevailing market situation is expected to remain for a longer period of time as currencies, compared to equity markets, take long time to recover. “In some case it may take even five to 10 years to regain the lost value”, she added.

“It’s a great time to invest in UK’s real estate market. People during this period are expected to make most of their investments to avail the opportunities created by the Brexit referendum.”

Providing further details about the nature of Qatari investors, she said that broadly there are two types of real estate investors in the UK from Qatar. One who invest in apartments to rent out for an additional flow of income, while there are large number of Qatari investors who purchase properties to have a home in London. And many of such investors go there to spend long-vacations, and also to provide hassle-free accommodation to their children who are studying or seeking admission in the UK.

Qataris, like many other investors from the Middle East, prefer to buy properties in Mayfair, Kensington, Richmond and other parts of north and east London. And those who buy properties to have their own home in the UK they usually prefer to opt for high quality town-houses in prime areas.

On the estimated size of the investments Qataris are planning to make, she said: “It’s so early to say anything about a number. But serious negotiations are happening. However, there can be some delays in striking the actual deals because we all know that Brexit is going to happen sometime in December 2018, a period when things are expected to pick-up momentum as many investors are anticipating a further decline in the value of pound against the US dollar and euro.”

Ravvy also said that at a time when investors are more keen to buy properties in the UK, there are many who are looking to shift from the UK to Germany, France and North America markets, the regions which are being seen as ‘safe’ at the moment.

Source: The Peninsula

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