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Chestertons sees Qatar investments shift in UK property market.

A pedestrian crosses a street between rows of residential properties in the Notting Hill district of London. Qatari portfolios in the London property market have expanded to include investments not only from owning residential homes but also a keen interest in capital growth from lower value properties, according to Chestertons.

By Peter Alagos

Business Reporter

Qatari portfolios in the London property market have expanded to include investments not only from owning residential homes but also a keen interest in capital growth from lower value properties, according to international real estate agency, Chestertons.

Samuel Warren, global director of International Residential Developments at Chestertons, said while there is still growth in Qatari investors eyeing property in key locations in the UK, there is also a "massive increase" in interest on lower value or smaller properties in other parts of London, which they could sell in fast growing areas in terms of capital growth.

"The Middle East market is well-familiar with the London property scene, particularly the high-end areas but they are also inquiring about locations that have not been considered before.

"Because they want to benefit from it especially if they see that there is capital growth and that these areas would be generating and developing, and this what we see in the lower ticket value transactions coming through," said Warren, who launched Chestertons' QR3.3bn "Wardian" project together with Qatar Chamber senior official Ali al-Misnad, who is strategic partner in Adaa Real Estate Company.

According to Warren, expansion of Qatari investments in terms of new locations was noticed in "late 2013 and early 2014." Some reports, according to Warren, claim that investors are even interested in "second tier locations" and areas further out to the east of London.

"They see the growth potential of these areas, which is why they choose to invest there...developers in London come to Qatar for marketing and to be part of the market. Those factors when put together are what seem to grow in this investment group; that is where you can see the key shift in the last two years," Warren told Gulf Times.

He also said many investors are buying property during the "off-plan" season: "By opting to acquire property now, they have a four-year off-plan growth, and they may choose to sell or rent the property out and become a landlord or an investor-landlord."

Asked about the percentage of investors from Qatar in the London property market, Warren said: "The Middle East and GCC investment is huge; the Qatari market would easily equate to around 30% to 40% of the business we see across the region."

Citing the presence of large Qatari government institutions such as Qatari Diar and Qatar Investment Authority, Warren said their presence in London's real estate market gives Qatari investors "great confidence that authorities have taken keen interest in areas where they chose to pour their investments."

Warren said the launching of the "Wardian" aims to acquaint Qatari investors with London's prime property projects. Describing the project as "an extraordinary opportunity" to invest in London, the first residents are expected to move in by 2019.

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Nov 7, 2015
Words:529
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