(Yicai Global) Feb. 13 -- China overtook the US for the first time as the largest buyer of UK property last year, Chinese newspaper Securities Daily reported today.
Real estate investment in the UK topped USD83 billion (GBP60 billion) last year. Brexit-driven pound depreciation burnished the shine of the British property market among foreign investors, and China, the U.S. and Germany ranked as the three largest property buyers in the country, Chinese blogger Ying Lun Tou Zi Ke announced.
Chinese investors closed 49 real estate deals in the UK. Even after discounting China Investment Corp.'s EUR12.25 billion (USD15 billion) acquisition of a 100-percent stake in Finnish developer Logcor Oy, the total investment of the remaining deals still exceeded GBP10 billion, more than doubling the record for the previous year.
"The UK is a key market in Chinese developers' global development strategy, and London is at the core of the British market as the national political and economic center and a world-class financial center. The real estate market in London is a mature and stable investment market open to investors worldwide," noted Wang Lu, senior director in charges of China's international capital markets at Knight Frank Global Research.
The reasons behind the spike in UK land investment by Chinese are legion, but value preservation and appreciation actuate most buyers, whereas high profits entice developers, a market insider suggested.