Camilla Dell, managing partner at buying agents Black Brick, said the impact on Prime Central London – where many overseas investors, especially from South East Asia, purchase property – had so far been minimal.
“Although a fair proportion of PCL homes are bought by HNW international buyers, we haven’t yet had many clients talking to us about the coronavirus,” she said.
“However, with some employers asking staff to self-isolate and work from home, we can predict that home offices will become more popular.”
She added: “We’ve seen a variety of buyers interested in properties with large studies, or serviced executive suites within luxury developments; and this is part of an ongoing trend for people to work more flexibly, aided by increasingly agile technology within the home.”
Hannah Aykroyd, managing director of boutique property advisory firm Aykroyd & Co, said stock markets have dropped (and since slightly recovered) in response to news about the coronavirus, and ‘in general, investors around the world are slightly holding their breath to see how things unfold’.
“At Aykroyd & Co, we have had two foreign buyers ask us to put their searches on hold temporarily due to travel restrictions or concerns about travel restrictions,” she continued. “However, in one case, we solved the problem with a creative approach and carried out a remote purchase.”
“Equally, we have two separate clients in town from Hong Kong who have been here since the news first broke and are using the time to focus on property investment in London. As a result, we are advising on building out a property investment portfolio which we would both acquire and manage for the long-term.”
Aykroyd said it was important to note that ‘neither we nor our clients are worried about the long-term resilience of the London property market, particularly at the top end’.
She claimed PCL residential property has been the best-performing asset class in the world over the past 25 years – through all kinds of crises.
“We are currently in a buying opportunity and this will not change with the outbreak of coronavirus. Savvy investors are well-aware of this.”