Thais snap up London real estate

Buy 200 units worth over 10 billion baht

The British developer Land Securities expects six of its London condominium units to be sold to Thai buyers during a second visit this year after seeing 200 units worth over 10 billion baht snapped up by Thais buying UK property in the last 24 months.

The Kings Gate, London SW1 has 100 units across 14 floors worth a total of 10.5 billion baht. Unit sizes range from 43.61 to 320.65 square metres priced 1 million baht per sqm on average.

Residential director Tom Eshelby said Thailand has emerged as the centre of Southeast Asia for London property projects seeking to tap the region's wealthy buyers over the past few years.

High-net-worth Thais have shown a strong interest in buying a London property as an investment, vacation home or residence for their children studying in one of the world's premier education destinations.

"Thais visiting London are the highest spenders in the world," he said yesterday during a four-day event that runs until Sunday showcasing the company's Kings Gate project in Southwest London.

The project, located in Victoria, comprises 100 units across 14 floors worth a total of 10.5 billion baht. Unit sizes range from 43.61 to 320.65 square metres priced 1 million baht per sq m on average.

Launched early this year, it has so far sold 70 units, half of them to Southeast Asian buyers. It was introduced in Bangkok early this year and sold three units worth 50 million baht.

"We aim to have another six units sold in Bangkok worth 500 million baht," said Mr Eshelby. "We will come back again with a new bigger project, The Nova, worth 17.5 billion baht next year."

Wealthy Asian parents sending their children to university in Britain often buy property for them to live in during their studies. By selling the property once they have graduated, the capital increase could essentially pay for the education.

Mr Eshelby said London property prices faced a sharp drop in 2008 with a decrease of 25% but picked up a year later by 40%. Last year they rose by 6% on average.

The property consultant Knight Frank said property values in Victoria are set to rise by 40% by 2016. Current valuations are 750,000 to 1.125 million baht per sq m.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Kanana Katharangsiporn
Position: Business Reporter