Over 20 per cent of prime London properties purchased sight unseen by overseas buyers


London Central Portfolio (LCP) is experiencing an influx of international buyers, willing to blind purchase properties in prime London to acquire at the bottom of market pricing.

The company says investors still recognise London as a global city and a 'go-to' destination, highlighted by the increase in young professionals moving to the capital. LCP has reported 21 per cent increase in under 30-year olds starting new tenancies in Q3 2020 compared with same period in the prior year.

Andrew Weir, CEO of LCP, says: "LCP is a respected and trusted set of eyes and ears on the ground for our overseas clients. They trust us to identify market segments with good investment opportunities and to negotiate the best deals. We have been able to advise based on our intimate knowledge of the prime London market and our unique provision of a detailed financial model enabling our established clients to invest sight unseen.

“There are four significant calls to action which should not be overlooked” says Weir. Firstly, the stamp duty holiday ending in March 2021, the anticipated 2 per cent additional surcharge for overseas buyers in April, the added appeal of an attractive sterling exchange rate, and most importantly the current discounted prices in the market compared to its peak in 2016.

"This unique buying environment has also resulted in a strong demand from family offices and investors looking to invest at scale, some acquiring large blocks of flats preferably with the opportunity to add value to maximise their returns.

"London continues to be viewed as a safe haven asset class benefitting from the rule of law, GMT time zone, prestigious educational establishments, a global business language and liberal culture. With the significant increase in purchases made via virtual viewings and evidence of pent up demand, 2021 may well see the beginnings of a rally in prime London similar to post Global Financial Crisis, where prices increased by 61 per cent between March 2009 and September 2012."