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Chinese invest heavily in London property
Brief:Chinese real estate investors are snapping up luxury property in areas such as London’s fashionable Knightsbridge and Canary Wharfe.
Buyers from mainland China and Hong Kong are ignoring the cooling of London's property market as they continue to invest heavily in luxury real estate in Britain's capital. Chinese real estate investors are snapping up luxury property in areas such as London's fashionable Knightsbridge and Canary Wharfe.

Naomi Minegishi, a twenty one year old Japanese woman, has sold four, three-bedroom apartments in a new development for £320,000 ($500,000 USD) per unit – all of them to different Chinese investors.

In several up-market areas of London, Chinese investors have already become the main buyers of luxury property; replacing buyers from Russia and the Middle East. In fact, the Chinese now account for five percent of all London property purchased by foreigners valued between £500,000 ($804,500 USD) and £1 million ($1.6 million USD). British government figures also show that there were 115,000 Chinese people living in London by 2007, compared to only 80,000 in 2001.

The Chinese are not buying London real estate to live in - most are looking for investments in a market they consider far more stable than their own.

Mathhew Tack, director at Hampton's London real estate agency commented; "Most developers in London are including China in their marketing efforts, they'd be silly not to."

The increase in the number of buyers from Asia is a clear sign of the shift in wealth to Asian countries, including mainland China.

London remains popular due to Britain's relaxed restrictions on foreigners owning real estate. Culturally, the Chinese understand the importance of education and many parents hope to send their children to a top university. Britain is a popular choice as far more foreign students are admitted to British universities than to those in the USA.

One mainland Chinese investor who owns property in London said; "I bought a flat for my daughter's use when she was studying in London and other flats I have rented out or sold. That, together with the city's financial institutions and the British people's love for owning their own homes, makes the property market extremely attractive."

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