Yorkshire Post - Property
Overseas buyers invest in Yorkshire
There has been a huge rise in the number of buyers from China and Hong Kong hunting for homes in Yorkshire cities.
There has been an increase in the number of international buyers investing in property across the region, with a huge rise in buyers from China and Hong
Kong. Mark Manning explains what this influx of foreign money coming into Yorkshire means for the local property market. He says:
Over the past two years, we’ve seen a 25 per cent increase in the number of buyers from China and the Far East purchasing property here.
This is down to several factors. Primarily, it is because the UK property market has an enviable reputation for being a safe haven to invest in, which provides a strong and steady return on investment. Rental yields here are also high.
Another factor is our education system, which is highly respected internationally. We are seeing a lot of Chinese parents whose children are coming to study here investing in a property for them to live rather than renting accommodation.
This is something that has become even more popular since the Government extended the post-study overseas student work visa to two years in 2020.
We are also seeing many more people from China and Hong Kong who are planning to migrate to the UK in the future buying property here now.
It is great future-proofing, as they will make fantastic rental yields from their investment in the years before settling here and when they do decide to make the move, they will already have a home here ready and waiting for them.
And let’s not forget the strength of our pound and the fact that we are perceived as a highly democratic and stable nation.
The pound is weaker than it was pre-Brexit, and that means that foreign buyers can now get more for their money. Buyers also trust the Government here and view the
UK’s property market as a highly regulated and secure place to invest their money in.
So what does it mean for the local property market? I believe this is a hugely positive thing for the local property market, as it increases the number of buyers coming into our region who tend to want to buy in Yorkshire’s commercial centres like Leeds and also Wakefield.
These areas are much more accessible to the average foreign buyer than London and the south east, which are now viewed by many as being too expensive.
The majority of foreign buyers are also cash buyers, as it’s hard to secure a mortgage here without being a UK citizen. This is great for sellers who want a quick sale and they often choose cash buyers over those people who need to secure a mortgage.
This does create stiffer competition in the market for local people who need a mortgage to buy, but at present, we are seeing that UK-based and foreign buyers tend to go for different property types.
Foreign buyers snapping up homes here are generally looking for good-sized family properties that are internally sound and
don’t need work. They tend not to be too bothered about having lots of outdoor space, which is in stark contrast to local buyers who really value outdoor space and are willing to pay a premium to get it.
This all creates a larger and more diverse pool of buyers, who are interested in a more diverse range of homes, which is a great thing for the market.
It also means that more money is coming into the local property market, helping to keep it buoyant
and properties that don’t tend to appeal to local buyers are now being bought by foreign investors. We are now seeing property that we wouldn’t traditionally expect to sell quickly doing just that.
These new buyer groups will help to maintain continued market growth, despite the rising uncertainty being experienced across the rest of the economy, so it is good news for the sector.
Leeds and the surrounding towns and cities are diverse and welcoming places and we look forward to welcoming more foreign buyers looking to purchase property here.
Ben Hudson of York-based Hudson Moody agrees with Mark Manning’s assessment as he too has seen an uplift in the number of Chinese buyers.
The two universities in York attract a large number of students from China and Hong Kong and Ben says: “We have a lot of parents who purchase property for their children who are studying here and who often stay on after university.”
He is also seeing more buyers from Hong Kong with British National status who have a visa that allows dependent family members to live, work and study in the UK, while giving them a route to permanent settlement and British citizenship.
“In York, buyers from China and Hong Kong tend to look for modern apartments that are in good condition. The budget is generally priced between £250,000 and £350,000 and if the apartments are bought for their children and they move out, the owners often use the flats for other family members visiting the UK or they rent them out.”
The UK property market has an enviable reputation for being a safe haven to invest in.