GCC investors take advantage of weak pound

 01 Sep 2016 - 0:00

GCC investors take advantage of weak pound
 

DOHA: Chestertons MENA, a leading international property agency, is showcasing a number of opportunities in London as GCC investors review the capital’s long-term prospects, following the UK’s June 2016 decision to exit the European Union (EU).
With the pound sterling falling to an all-time low against the US dollar, Middle East cash-rich investors have yet another reason to re-evaluate the UK capital’s residential market, despite the current uncertainty surrounding the activation of article 50 which will start the two-year countdown for the UK’s legal separation from the EU.
According to Declan McNaughton (pictured), Managing Director UAE, Chestertons MENA the historical resilience of London’s residential property market, its enduring popularity and a strong US dollar, are all plus points for prospective GCC investors looking at the UK market.
“Essentially London property prices had fallen by as much as 13.47 percent in the space of two weeks between June 23 and July 7. That’s a saving of £67,500 (over QR327,000) on a property valued at £500,000 (over QR2,425,000). However, sterling has since recovered slightly to 1.30 against the greenback,” he added.
According to financial website The Economy Forecast Agency (EFA), these exchange rates could prevail through to the end of 2017, with more uncertainty foreseen in 2018 as the UK heads toward Brexit, probably in Q1, 2019. This has naturally increased interest from overseas, especially from residents of the GCC, whose currencies are linked to the US dollar.
In 2015, London demonstrated its popularity with international investors as Chestertons closed property sales worth over QR610m on behalf of Middle East investors, London proving to be the most popular market notching sales worth QR265m, representing over 70 percent of their total sales of nearly QR379m.
Investors from Kuwait topped the GCC list, accounting for 21percent of total London sales through Chestertons, followed by Saudi Arabia (17 percent), Qatar (10 percent), UAE (10 percent) and Bahrain (7 percent). The balance of other buyers was made up of nationals from UK, Switzerland and Iran.

The Peninsula