With the plunge in the value of sterling in the wake of the Brexit vote, overseas buyers have been taking the opportunity to snap up UK property and make a saving of around 12%.
Manchester-based Benoit Properties International says there has been a surge in interest in buy-to-let property from investors in the Middle East, Hong Kong and other countries with currencies pegged to the dollar. Over the past seven days, the value of the pound has fluctuated wildly, reaching $1.5 the day before the referendum and falling as low as $1.31 afterwards – representing a 31-year low against the dollar.
“UK property is now more than 10% cheaper in dollar terms than it was on Thursday night and for clients buying for the long term this presents huge opportunity,” says Matthew Lavin of Benoit.
“Over the weekend we sold six apartments in The Exchange Building in Liverpool to a group of buyers from Saudi Arabia who had seen the news about the falling pound and seized the opportunity. They saved around $130,000 collectively compared to what they would have spent on Thursday night.
“It is also a huge bonus to our existing overseas buyers. One North African client who secured 10 student properties in Leeds with us in May saved $121,000 due to the exchange rate falling from $1.44 when he agreed the deal to $1.32 when he completed.
“While the market may not be as favourable for domestic buyers, and clearly there is a lot of uncertainty for business, the fundamentals of the property sector remain strong and demand will continue to outstrip supply.
“Our investors are typically looking five to ten years ahead. They see UK property market as a secure place to park capital for long-term income and growth. The added value presented by a weak GBP is an added bonus and presents an unmissable opportunity.“