London Remains a Magnet for Overseas Property Investors

By Benham And Reeves Residential Lettings, PRNE
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

LONDON, June 1, 2011 -

With overseas investors currently snapping up London properties, Anita
and Marc von Grundherr, Directors of one of the largest lettings agents
in London (, Benham and Reeves Residential Lettings,
have just returned from a tour of Gulf region and the Far East, where they
met both seasoned investors expanding their property portfolios and those
planning their first UK rental investment. And it seems that investors
consider this to be the perfect time to buy a London property (, thanks to a unique combination of factors.

During the trip, which covered Abu Dhabi, Dubai, India, Kuala Lumpur,
Singapore and Bangkok, Anita and Marc held one-to-one meetings with over 100
independent financial advisors, wealth management agents and individual
investors and encountered an unprecedented level of interest. More than 60
investors also attended the firm's property investment seminar held in Kuala
and a radio station and local press interviewed Anita and Marc to talk
about the benefits of property rentals in London.

"Current demand is fuelled by a number of factors," reports Anita. "The
exchange rate is a driving force, making many homes 20% cheaper than in 2006.
Strong rental demand is another, with London remaining a focal point for
global corporations, attracting increasing numbers of overseas executives
here on secondment."

"Adding to the demand for rental accommodation is the growing number of
international students (around 285,000, some 25% more than two years ago),
with many investors buying a property for their sons or daughters coming to
London to study," explains Anita.

"The current shortage of rental accommodation (there are around 10
applicants for every available property) is prompting an increase in rents
which have risen by over 10% in the last year. Properties are letting
quickly, particularly in new developments like Pan Peninsula and The Landmark
in Canary Wharf - and with shorter void periods landlords are seeing a steady
increase in yields. Demand is also fuelled by continuing mortgage
restrictions and a shortage of new homes being built meaning that young
professionals are still forced to rent as they are unable to get onto the
property ladder.

"And of course, London has traditionally been viewed as a safe haven for
property investment, offering capital appreciation together with good rental
yields. Its desirability has increased even further following the recent
political turmoil in the Middle East."

"When buying an investment property, location is paramount," continues
Anita. "Prime areas in Central London are red-hot, both new riverside
developments like Imperial Wharf and Chelsea Bridge Wharf and traditional
period conversions in exclusive areas such as Knightsbridge. And of course
smaller units with easy access into the West End and City like Beaufort Park
in North West London and the new Mojo building near the Olympic village
remain highly sought after.

"But successful property investment relies as much on efficient letting
and property management as on the right choice of property. Buyers are
looking for an agent that combines experience with great service, and a
detailed knowledge of London's rental hot-spots. Being able to provide
services like furnishings and property refurbishment are a real bonus too.

"We advise clients not to sign up with the first agent they find and not
to rely on Google to find someone. Talk to the agent directly. Ask the right
questions. Do they have local offices, qualified staff and extensive lettings
experience? Are they members of ARLA? Do they have an efficient property
management department? Over 95% of global corporations insist that an
executive's rental property is managed. In the last 10 years, the number of
properties we manage has doubled so we know how highly clients value this
service, particularly those who are resident overseas. Above all, do your
research - well; agents who do both sales and lettings are not going to give
you 100% focus on letting your property so finding the right letting agent is
critical when it comes to successful property investment."

Editor's notes:

Established in 1956 in Hampstead, London, and now with 9 offices in the
prime residential areas of London, (and overseas offices in Singapore, Hong
, Dubai, Delhi and Mumbai), Benham and Reeves Residential Lettings is
recognised as one of London's largest, specialist lettings and property
management agencies. To complement this, they also provide an interior
design, refurbishment and furnishings service for London rental investment
properties to landlords based worldwide.

    Enquiries to:
    Tracie Lack
    Tel: +44(0)20-7433-6675


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