Within 12 hours of Greece defaulting on repayment of part of a loan to the International Monetary Fund, a prime central London buying agency issued a press release claiming it was seeing a rise in Greek clients.
“As we have seen time and again, economic and political instability brings buyers to London’s prime property market. In recent weeks, we have been advising a number of Greek clients on potential investments in the UK, as the risk of Greece crashing out of the Eurozone looms over the continent and, especially, over Greek savers, who could see their wealth slashed by the effect of any devaluation on domestically held assets” says Camilla Dell of buying agency Black Brick.
She says Greece’s super-rich have long been a feature of the top end of London’s property market but the country’s current crisis has seen clients further down the social scale.
“Middle-class Greeks are looking to acquire London property as a hedge against the effects that a return to the drachma would have on pensions and similar investments held in Greece. They are typically looking for investment properties up to the £1m mark that can provide stable income and hold their value” says Dell.
She also says that on the other hand demand from Singapore has fallen in the last six months because the authorities in the Far East were imposing restrictions on mortgage borrowing to prevent a domestic property bubble, with knock-on effects on Singaporeans’ ability to fund international real estate purchases.
“The (likely temporary) departure of Singaporean buyers is being offset by growing interest from elsewhere. As well as increased inquiry from Greece, we continue to see growth in demand from China and, to a lesser extent, from Thailand” claims Dell.