Property buying agency Black Brick is reporting an increase in the number of Indian purchasers using the firm’s services in Central London. Figures just out show that 13 per cent of Black Brick’s total transactions so far in 2017 have been to Indian buyers, an increase on previous years.
In the financial year 2013/14, just 5.9 per cent of deals were to Indian buyers and in 2014/15, only 3 per cent. In 2015/16 the figure dropped further to 2.6 per cent but has since risen considerably.
The latest data from Cluttons released last month shows that between August 2016 and July 2017, Indian buyers now account for 22 per cent of the total sales in Central London, up from 5 per cent in 2012. They are buying mainly for primary residences or to have a bolt hole in the city, a few are taking advantage of the exchange rate and buying for investment.
Camilla Dell, Managing Partner at Black Brick, says: “We have seen a marked increase in Indian buyers using our services and this is down to the amount of money that Indian’s are allowed to transmit out of India. The Reserve Bank of India sets exchange control limits with today’s amount USD250,000 per family member, per year. This is a significant improvement from a few years ago, when the amount allowed was under USD100,000 per family member, per year. It means that a family of four, after one year, will have USD1 million to spend, and after two years USD2 million. It quickly adds up, an explains why a lot of our Indian clients are buying in the GBP1m to GBP2m range.”
The latest figures from Black Brick show that from the 13 per cent of Indian buyers so far this year, 6.5 per cent were owner occupiers and 6.5 per cent were managed sales, buying in Mayfair and Knightsbridge for primary and secondary homes. Last year figures show 12 per cent of transactions were to Indian buyers with 6 per cent being for investment as buy to lets and 6 per cent to owner occupiers. The investors chose new build flats in Shoreditch and White City, whereas the owner occupiers chose Mayfair for a primary residence and a period conversion in Regents Park as a second home.
Over 50 per cent of Black Brick’s Indian clients follow the Vastu system, mostly older generations in their 40s and 50s, but Vastu is also important to younger buyers and many use a Vastu specialist when buying a property in London. This limits what properties Indian buyers are interested in purchasing, as often architecture and design doesn’t comply with Vastu. As such, an increasing number are using property specialists to help with their searches.
Camilla commented: “Vastu can be challenging as it makes the property search tricky. If a kitchen is in the wrong position within a house it can scupper the whole deal. Investors are less worried about Vastu but if there is something specific about an apartment being unlucky, even if it’s a buy to let, that will influence their buying decision. We recently had a client who bought two apartments in one development. They bought off plan so they could ask the developer to move doors to comply with Vastu. Therefore, often new build, off plan homes appeal as they can be tweaked accordingly.”