(MENAFN - Arab News) Chesterton, the international property agency established in 1805, has reported that inquiries from Saudi buyers for London residential property over the past year has remained steady, highlighting the UK property market's continued status as an investment safe haven.
Chesterton will be exhibiting at Cityscape Riyadh 2011, which is taking place between Sunday (Dec. 11) and Tuesday (Dec. 13) at the Riyadh Exhibition Center from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
A report released earlier this year revealed that 94 percent of Saudi High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) consider investments in real estate to be safe over the next 12 months, and many have turned to central London property to avoid the uncertainty and volatility affecting other markets and asset classes.
Simon Gray, managing director of Chesterton MENA, said: "Over the last 12 months, capital values for prime central London residential assets have risen by up to 25 percent and rental levels have also continued to rise, primarily due to restricted supply in the capital.
With a steady number of inquiries from HNWIs and investors, it is clear that this increase has not deterred Saudis from investing in London, and we are continuing to experience strong demand, especially for properties within new developments. We continue to see value in the market and expect further significant increases in the run up to the 2012 Olympic Games."
Robert Bartlett, chief executive of Chesterton Humberts, said: "The impact of the 'Arab Spring' and ongoing volatility and uncertainty in global markets have driven investments from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar to alternative 'safe havens', such as London real estate."
"In addition to the UK's stability, transparency and legal framework, all of which ensure that the process of investing is relatively straight forward, investors are further attracted to London by additional factors such as sterling's weakness, the historically low interest rates and London's position as one of the world's foremost business and tourist hubs."
Around 65 percent of Chesterton's MENA clients are buying apartments rather than houses, mainly due to the perceived higher level of security, better facilities and ease of management, and for similar reasons, there is a general preference for new build rather than older properties.
One London development that has been attracting especially high levels of interest is The Tower - One St George Wharf which, at 50 stories, is one of Europe's tallest residential towers. Built by London's leading developer, St George, Chesterton has been instructed to market The Tower and will be exhibiting it at Cityscape Riyadh 2011.
As well as some of the most spectacular views across London's famous skyline, including the Houses of Parliament and the City of London and beyond, residents of The Tower will experience a hotel-style service provided by internationally renowned Harrods Estates Asset Management with a greeting doorman, 24-hour concierge, and a dedicated valet service for parking.
Chesterton will also be exhibiting the recently launched Spinnaker House and Flotilla House, the latest phases of the luxury riverside development, Battersea Reach, London SW18.
With a growing network of offices across the UK and international offices in the EU and Australasia, Chesterton is establishing a strong presence in the Middle East and Asia, combining its long-standing global industry knowledge and the in-depth expertise of its local staff. It is currently looking to add to its Middle Eastern exposure by opening additional offices in Qatar, Riyadh and Jeddah next year.