Interest in British property 'will rise whatever the result'

Rows of houses standing on Lansdowne Road in the Kensington and Chelsea borough of London, UK, on Dec 28, 2012.
Rows of houses standing on Lansdowne Road in the Kensington and Chelsea borough of London, UK, on Dec 28, 2012. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Singaporeans may have lost their appetite for British property but real estate brokers think interest will pick up whether or not Britain exits the European Union.

CBRE figures show Singapore investments in UK property have been falling, from £650 million in 2013 to £180 million (S$360 million) last year. Some respite came as purchases rose to £55 million in the first quarter, up £3 million from a year earlier.

Mr Darien Bradshaw, CBRE executive director of international marketing, Asia Pacific, said Brexit was "just one of many factors". He said the total debt servicing ratio has had a bigger impact on lower sales.

Mr Charlie Walsh, sales and marketing director for property developer Lodha UK, has seen "good demand" from Singapore buyers for its latest offering, Lincoln Square, in central London - and expects a pick-up in sales, Brexit or not.

Mr Calvin Ng, an IT professional here who owns a property in south London, is relaxed about the short-term effects of a Brexit. "I'm not worried about the impact on rental demand as there is a shortage in the London housing supply for the next three years."

Lee Xin En

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2016, with the headline 'Interest in British property 'will rise whatever the result''. Print Edition | Subscribe