International property agents are reporting increased interest from overseas investors, following the fall in the value of the pound by up to 10% against the dollar since the Brexit vote.
According to Manchester-based advisor Matthew Lavin, of Benoit Properties International, 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”.
Lavin said: “Over the weekend we sold six apartments in the Produce Exchange 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.”
In the past seven days, the value of the pound has fluctuated from $1.5 the day before the referendum to $1.31 afterwards, a 31-year low against the dollar.
Lavin continued: “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.”
Foster Marlon Group is on site with the £8m conversion of the grade two-listed Produce Exchange in Liverpool’s Victoria Street, which will total 54 apartments on completion in 2017.
The 25,000 sq ft project is a joint venture between Foster Marlon, led by directors Rubaid and Uzair Zaidi, and Hong Kong Sotheby’s International Realty.
Prices start at £88,000, and 44 apartments have already been sold to a mix of domestic and overseas buyers.