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Chinese investors flock to London property market despite Brexit uncertainties

BritCham / CBBC
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South China Morning Post, 18/11/16
Chinese companies are on track to invest USD 5 billion in London property this year, beating the 2015 record by a third, according to data compiled by CBRE Group.
Although the UK’s vote to leave the European Union lowered prices for Chinese by depressing the pound against the yuan, any longer-term payoff depends partly on whether Brexit will drive down rents and values by diminishing the city’s role as Europe’s finance hub.
“Chinese investors are betting that the UK will do well in the Brexit talks and if it doesn’t companies will still choose London as their base,” said Michael Marx, former chief executive officer of developer U & I Group. “London didn’t become the financial capital of the world overnight and it certainly won’t lose that status so quickly.”
Developer ABP London and investment company Citic Group are hoping that lower rents along with the pound’s drop will attract expanding companies from China and other parts of Asia to their new hub.
The rise in London investment coincides with a Chinese binge on foreign properties, driven by high prices and dwindling commercial property investment opportunities at home.
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