Londoners Snap Up Luxury Homes as Rich Foreigners Are Locked Out

23 June 2021

Bloomberg

The launch of London's newest luxury apartment complex went virtual for the Covid-era, as a Netflix-style film promised an unrivaled lifestyle on the edge of Hyde Park complete with a restaurant, well-being floor and 60 million pound ($84 million) penthouse suite.

While the 14-minute clip portrayed London as a truly global playground for millionaires, it didn't mention one of the capital's current snags: few foreign investors are visiting under restrictions that have just been extended. That means the luxury market is largely relying on locals, and its long-awaited recovery remains elusive without wealthy offshore buyers to bid up prices.

"We'd ideally expect a lot of them on the ground right now -- but we're just not seeing that," said James Van Den Heule, a director at Park Modern developer Fenton Whelan, who says that U.K. buyers are currently the most common. "Particularly at this price level, quite a lot of people will want to actually be here to make the decision, so I do think that will put upward pressure on prices when they start to arrive."

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