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hong kong, property market

Hong Kong Boosts UK Commercial Market

04.03.20

Commercial property in the UK is receiving a boost from Hong Kong. Whilst there has been much talk of residents of the semi-autonomous Chinese city buying up London homes, it’s in fact within commercial real estate that purchasers have been eyeing up some of the biggest deals.

A classic case - the recent acquisition by CK Asset Holdings of the UK pubs and brewery group Green King for £4.6bn is likely to have been supported by the £3.5bn Green King property portfolio. With CK Asset Holdings seen as a leader for other investors, many are expected to follow suit.

November 2019, saw Mayfair flagship store for Crombie sold to a Hong Kong financier, whilst several Hong Kong based investors are bringing forward plans for major new buildings in the City, as well as wider investments into UK regional cities.

Turmoil in the former UK colony, stemming from anti-government protests, has revived some longstanding links with the UK, as investors are turning to the country as a safe haven. As a result, the number of Hong Kong investors seeking property in London, as well as the main regional cities across the UK has increased in the past three to four months. Buyers from Hong Kong are able to defy a broad drop in outbound capital from mainland China, partly because the mainland’s tighter capital controls do not apply in the territory. While difficulties in the UK still exist, it offers a more stable option when compared to the current turbulence in the US or China. The competitiveness of sterling is also a key factor contributing to the country’s appeal.

In addition, the UK is also seen as a potential base for investors due to thriving communities from Hong Kong already living here, including the children of wealthy and middle-class Asians at the UK’s highest rated schools and universities.

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