On moving here, a recurring publication that makes its way through our building’s letter slot is The London Magazine. An article of interest in its November 2010 issue is “Global Players, Monopoly Money,” or “London’s foreign buyers” as it’s titled on their website.
While the article regards property ownership in central London versus the lettings market, I nonetheless detect the same trends that bring a certain demographic to a certain neighborhood regardless of whether they’re purchasing or renting a home. The illustration to the left highlights a few key postcodes for Americans living here, but the article explores other hot property locations across the nationality spectrum.
As just indicated (and which I’ve previously written about in my 3-part miniseries, “Americans Moving to London – Finding the U.S. in the U.K.“), Americans tend to prefer the trendy areas of West London. This is in part due to classic conceptions as fostered through the cinema as well as an overall preference for the aesthetic of stuccoed facades and garden squares. Specific neighborhoods where affluent Americans like to buy homes are Notting Hill, Hampstead, and Earl’s Court.
Continental Europeans (predominantly the French, Italians, Greeks, and Germans) also go for Hampstead, as well as Fulham and Chelsea. Like the Americans, they like a conventional British look of period housing.
Egyptians like St. John’s Wood, and the wealthy of India seek properties in London’s fine, established areas like Mayfair, Belgravia, Knightsbridge, Kensington, and Putney. Middle Eastern homebuyers also prefer Knightsbridge and Belgravia given their proximity to luxury hotels and shopping like Harrods; other viable neighborhoods are, according to Savills‘s research, Kensington, St. John’s Wood, and north of Hyde Park, with fully outfitted and serviced properties with high security being of preference.
Other big buyers prime properties are the Chinese. Of particular importance to this demographic is often new construction properties that are in keeping with principles of feng shui—a neighborhood conducive to this is Canary Wharf. Last but not least, the article mentions how Russian buyers like to purchase homes in the same neighborhoods already mentioned, namely Knightsbridge, Mayfair, Bayswater, Kensington, and Hampstead, preferring high quality and standalone houses.
Hmm, are you seeing a common denominator here? Looks like the big winners of properties are also the most expensive ones, and yet they’re also frequently requested ones by the renters who contact our agency given their high standards of quality. Often the average rent prices we quote cause a great deal of sticker shock that then turns into strategizing toward more realistic expectations; yet, of the neighborhoods mentioned above, decent rents for the average schmo relocating to London like me can indeed be found in Notting Hill, Kensington, Bayswater, and even St. John’s Wood and Hampstead if you look hard enough…that’s a comprehensive search that London Relocation Ltd. can easily assist you with!