While Canada may have bitten the hand that feeds it real-estate bubble, one of London’s biggest real-estate investors says that even if sanctions were imposed against the Russian oligarchs, London property prices will continue to soar. The average London “flat” could fetch GBP36 million by the middle of the century, and is therefore a bargain now, Hugh Best advises clients. His reasoning is impecable, “the average price in prime central London is now £1.5m, and has been growing at 9% a year, which we think is firmly sustainable. They have been growing at that level for 40 years and we see no reason for that to change.” With two-thirds of new homes in London sold to investors, they are all driving up prices and “the Russians are only a part of it… and the Ukrainians might come with their money.”
You may think a shoebox-sized flat in central London costing more than £1m is an insane illustration of a property price bubble, but it could be the bargain of the century.
According to projections by one of the biggest investors in “prime” property in the capital, that average flat could fetch £36m by the middle of the century – if its predictions of 9%-a-year growth in prices become reality.
Casting aside concerns that Russian oligarchs will no longer be sheltering their billions in luxury mansions, London Central Portfolio has launched a £100m fund to buy one- and two-bed apartments in the capital’s most exclusive districts.
Hugh Best, LCP’s investment director, said: “The average price in prime central London is now £1.5m, and has been growing at 9% a year, which we think is firmly sustainable. They have been growing at that level for 40 years and we see no reason for that to change.”
The Crimea crisis would not halt London property’s inexorable rise, said Naomi Heaton, LCP’s chief executive. “The Russians are only a part of the market and have been dwindling in number over the past few years … we could instead have the Ukrainians coming in with their money. London is the destination for the high net worth community of the world, and we are only just beginning to see the mainland Chinese. The loss of some Russian oligarchs is not a fundamental loss for the market.“
So buy, buy, buy…