UAE buyer interest for prime London properties remains steady despite the ongoing background of Brexit, the impact of COVID-19 and ensuing lockdowns, real estate consultancy firm, CORE, said in a report.

With the UAE and UK travel corridor now open, the value on offer in prime central London districts represents a lucrative buying opportunity for UAE buyers who have historically taken a longer-term view of this market, the report said.

The UAE-based consultancy firm expects the stamp duty holiday announced in July 2020 to stabilise price falls over the period to the end of March 2021.

"The UAE buyers understand that prime London properties are currently priced nearly 20 percent lower than peak 2014 prices and have limited room for further contraction. They are also aware of the window of opportunity to capitalise on further savings by finalising transactions before the end of the stamp duty holiday on 31st March 2021, which coincides with the introduction of a  2 percent SDLT surcharge for non-UK resident buyers," said, Alex Casaki, Head of London Desk, CORE.

"That said, for UAE buyers who look at purchasing UK properties at higher entry price points, the £15,000 stamp duty saving is perceived as an incentive rather than key a decision driver. However, together with the anticipated introduction of the nonUK resident surcharge due in April 2021, overseas buyers are expected to be increasingly active in prime markets in the short term," he added.

CORE expects more footfall back into central London with the UK being the first western country to authorise a coronavirus vaccine and the rollout expected to commence mid-December.

"Most market commentators are in a broad consensus that prices in prime central London are expected to recover in mid to late 2021 as global mobility improves and the wealth eroded by COVID-19 is gradually restored with a rebound in capital markets," Casaki said.

(Writing by Seban Scaria; editing by Daniel Luiz)


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