Investors from the Middle East are beginning to return to the UK’s property market.

According to real estate consultancy Knight Frank, 16 percent of all sales to overseas buyers in the first three months of 2021 were to Middle Eastern buyers, up from less than 10 percent in the second and third quarters of last year.

“This is the highest proportion of Middle Eastern interest since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the UK,” Knight Frank said.

However, Middle Eastern investment is still someway off pre-COVID-19 levels. But the consultancy expects activity to tick up further as international travel restrictions ease.


Property buyers from the GCC are currently ranked third most prominent in the UK. There is a particularly high demand from Gulf investors for ‘best-in-class’ new build projects in and around Mayfair. Image courtesy Knight Frank

The data highlights that buyers from the GCC are currently ranked third most prominent in the UK, only surpassed by buyers from Asia (18 percent) and Europe (59 percent).

“International demand for London property has been building over the last 12 months despite global travel restrictions,” said Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank.

“It has led to frustration on the part of some prospective buyers, particularly against the backdrop of the UK’s successful vaccination programme. Once travel rules are relaxed, we expect normal service to resume, including London’s long-standing relationship with buyers from the Middle East,” he added.

Despite lower-than-normal levels of investment from GCC investors, Knight Frank has completed almost £90 million ($124.36) worth of sales since the UK went into lockdown.

Moreas Madani, Middle East Global Wealth Ambassador at Knight Frank, said: “There is a particularly high demand from GCC investors for best-in-class new build projects in and around Mayfair.

“We are seeing steady interest from the Middle East, however, the biggest challenge remains restrictions on international travel. As this eases, and post-Ramadan, we are expecting to see more activity from the region as pent-up demand is released.”

(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. The content does not provide tax, legal or investment advice or opinion regarding the suitability, value or profitability of any particular security, portfolio or investment strategy. Read our full disclaimer policy here.

© ZAWYA 2021