“My Dad says that being a Londoner has nothing to do with where you’re born. He says that there are people who get off a jumbo jet at Heathrow, go through immigration waving any kind of passport, hop on the tube and by the time the train’s pulled into Piccadilly Circus they’ve become a Londoner.” – BEN AARONOVITCH
The quote just encapsulates some of the few feelings that London evokes amongst Indians. One of the most multicultural cities in the world, over a third of London’s population has been born in a foreign country. London is the embodiment of openness, tolerance and celebrates diversity in every way. It’s no mystery that London is one of the most incredible cities in the world to work and live in. With this in mind, I feel London is best to invest in for Indians. According to the London Central Portfolio’s sales audit, Indians amongst the largest investors in London real estate in 2017. The report also suggests that over 3,000 luxury properties in London are owned by Indian Investors.
Here are few reasons because of which London has emerged as the most preferred realty hotspot –
- Drop in Property Rates and Currency Rates
London is no longer a seller’s market; it’s the buyer who holds the power. In uncertain times, sellers are getting weary of the uncertainty and are more likely to negotiate on prices. This development has caused the average asking price in the capital to fall by £15,000 since its peak two years ago. We are now witnessing the lowest London property prices since 2012. Due to the uncertainty of Brexit, the GBP, which had a conversion rate as high as INR 103.3 in 2013, has now fallen to INR 92. This dip in the value of the GBP has captured the interest of Indian Investors. Indian Investors have capitalized by investing in real estate with the GBP being at an all-time low.
- Benefits of the city
According to the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate, London has emerged as the top global city for real estate investors in 2018. Apart from the current scenario that makes it a lucrative business opportunity, the city boasts of many factors that add to its appeal. The wide market, ease of transport, lifestyle, cultural attributes, a stable rule of law and transparency are just some of the reasons foreign investors are attracted to this city, not to mention the ease of adapting to an English-speaking country.
- A lucrative addition to the portfolio
It has been established that a real estate investor is only as successful as his purchases. Having said that, Indians have always looked to invest abroad, and places like Dubai have been a favorite amongst them. However, due to the high prices, London has been out of reach for many investors looking to invest abroad. But the drop in prices and the value of the GBP due to various factors, Brexit being the most obvious of them, has made these places more accessible. According to Economic Times, opposed to buyers from Singapore and Hong Kong, Indians are even more open to buying new as well as established properties, giving them a wider range to choose from.
- London offers the best there is
With its world-renowned colleges and modern lifestyle, London has been one of the top contenders amongst students and parents alike for higher education opportunities. Many go on to secure themselves jobs in the capital and choose to settle down as London residents. London being so multicultural, it has some of the most diverse cuisines available at practically every street corner. (The Indian Chicken Tikka masala being the dish of the UK is an indication of how much the British have adapted Indian tastes) Services and social needs are well looked after and London is one of the safest cities in the world. Whether it is pubs, restaurants, theatres, sports, nightlife or even the parks, London is a dynamic city with endless opportunities.