By: Matthew Sansom, Director of Residential Sales, Battersea Power Station
Gulf purchasers flock to buy prime next-generation property in London

The London property market has seen a surge in interest from Gulf buyers drawn by the favourable exchange rate, with these purchasers accounting for around 7% of foreign investors in prime London properties according to real estate agents Hamptons. 

In addition, several Gulf States have become eligible for the UK’s new Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) system, removing visa restrictions and increasing ease of travel between the Gulf and the UK. 

Why buy in London?

A global financial hub, cultural and entertainment hotspot and academic powerhouse with stunning architecture and green spaces – London is a city where people from around the world want to live and work. As a result, property in the UK’s capital is always in high demand. 

Investor confidence in London’s real estate is long-established. Not only does this resilient market offer the potential for capital appreciation and strong rental yields, but the industry is highly regulated, providing peace of mind for overseas investors.

Despite global macroeconomic challenges, London rents have almost quadrupled over the last two decades according to the UK Land Registry. The latest Rightmove Rental Price Tracker shows London rents have leaped 16.1% from 12 months ago. Demand among tenants is up 20%, says Rightmove, while the supply of available rental homes has dipped by 9%. 

As people migrate back to London post-pandemic, the capital’s property continues to be an attractive investment option.

Next-generation developments become the new golden postcodes

As hybrid working becomes the norm, people want to centralise where they work and study, live and socialise to maximise work-life balance. In response to this dynamic, property owners in London are seeking central communities with access to well-connected transport networks and wide-ranging amenities. 

The Knight Frank London Report 2022 outlines the ‘15 minute’ neighbourhood concept, where people can live, work, shop and dine within a15-minutee walk. This particularly resonates with Gulf purchasers. Knight Frank’s Wealth Report 2022 found the most important attributes for high-net worth buyers from the Middle East were access to outdoor space, proximity to transport links and leisure facilities.  

At Battersea Power Station, we have seen evidence of this. The iconic riverside development in the heart of London has a strong UK buyer base but has also attracted Gulf buyers over the years with its world-class amenities. Its contemporary apartments are designed for modern living, with interiors built around flexibility and adaptability. Our latest launch of homes, Koa at Electric Boulevard, has already garnered significant interest from Gulf buyers, looking for a second-home in London or a strong rental opportunity, moments from Battersea Power Station’s Zone 1 Underground station. The Grade II*-listed landmark – restored alongside new architectural masterpieces by Gehry Partners and Fosters + Partners, includes carefully curated shops and restaurants, leisure facilities and outdoor space; coupled with strong green credentials.

For example, the neighbourhood includes the six acre Power Station Park overlooking the River Thames, and Battersea Roof Gardens, of which Koa is a part of, offers one of London’s largest residential rooftop gardens. There’s also the 200-acre Battersea Park less than a five minute walk away.

Residents and visitors can also enjoy world-class retail in the neighbourhood, with the public opening of the Power Station bringing the first of over 100 shops, restaurants and bars located inside the Grade II* listed landmark. Brands now open at Battersea Power Station include Rolex, Ralph Lauren, Chanel Beauty, Space NK, Jo Malone, Genesis, Adidas, Nike and Watches of Switzerland, to name a few. Food and beverage options include Starbucks, Pret a Manger, Gordon Ramsey’s Bread Street Kitchen & Bar and Ladurée, whilst a 24,000 sq ft Arcade Food Hall from JKS Restaurants will open next year.

Transport links are a critical pull factor and the Battersea Power Station Zone 1 Underground station puts residents within 15 minutes of the West End and the City of London. Whilst the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers travels along the River Thames from the Power Station to Embankment in just 15 minutes, Battersea is also the home of the London Heliport, the main central location for helicopter transport.

This makes it a magnet for Gulf purchasers who want the benefits of a central London location while enjoying nature, riverside living and green spaces on their doorstep.

Investing for the future

London properties continue to attract strong interest from Gulf purchasers. Whether to buy properties for children attending prestigious London schools and universities, to purchasing a second home that is in one of the world’s most high-profile cities; or to seek attractive yields and long-term capital gains, now is a great time to buy into the market.

New and exciting developments that combine a central, prime location with modern, green and sustainable living are increasingly in demand. Buying in such future-looking developments ensures access to a key global market and attractive fundamentals. It is also an opportunity for new generations to benefit from a base that is fit for the shifting dynamics of work, rest and play in the future.

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