By Ada Albert
For decades London has been a financial and educational centre of Europe and this makes London a city of opportunities, which attracts immigrants from all over the world.
Inessa Falina – head of property division at Oracle Capital Group, moved to London from Italy more than eleven years ago. For twelve years she had her own business in Italy, a travel agency that organised the first charter flights in Italy from Latvia, Russia, and Armenia, and an export-import company for the last eight years.
In Inessa’s first year in London, she had a meeting with the chairman of Hamptons International, who invited her to set up and run the Russian Desk for this company. That is how Inessa Falina started her career in the property industry. After ten months, a big Russian Desk launch was organised for her department by Hamptons International, attended by members of the Royal Family. The Russian Desk has been working with more than thirty branches in the UK and abroad, selling beautiful villas to Russian speaking clients for years.
When she left Hamptons International, Inessa set up her own company and started dealing with off-market residential and commercial properties in London. “It was a tough time as it was a credit crunch but I was doing quite well. Even if most people think that property is a man’s business I enjoy it very much. It’s my work and my passion.”
Does the rapid recovery of central London residential markets from the global credit crunch, play a key factor in influencing investment decisions of overseas entrepreneurs to make England their second home?
The decision to purchase a property in central London by overseas entrepreneurs is often motivated by the following reasons:
- Attractive level of capital growth in central London. In spite of the credit crunch, the central London property market has indeed made a rapid recovery
- Liquidity of the property asset in central London. London being an important financial centre of the world means that the capital’s properties are always in great demand, not only with local buyers but also international buyers
- World economy plays a big role: economic events in the EU, Middle East, United States and other countries influence the behaviour of property buyers in central London. When foreign investors experience political or economic instability in other countries, they tend to transfer their money from their accounts in those jurisdictions to London and invest into properties in central London. England attracts them because it has an impeccable reputation of stability. Entrepreneurs strive to invest their money in a safe asset in the country with a stable government.
Average historic annual property growth is reaching almost 10% – makes London a safe haven for investors.
Why does London remain one of most preferred places to relocate or buy properties?
There are many reasons why London has always been one of the most popular cities to relocate. One of the most important factors is the social, economic and political situation, tax regime, and geographical location, as well as cultural and art traditions. For decades London has been a financial and educational centre of Europe. This makes London a city of opportunities, which attracts immigrants from all over the world.
Never ceasing interest in London as a place to live makes the UK’s capital property market one of the most stable in the world. Of course London property prices are volatile, but average historic annual property growth is reaching almost 10%, which makes it a safe haven for investors from around the world.
Why do overseas clients relocate or buy properties abroad? Would it be right to say that central London remains the most desirable option for most of the wealthiest property buyers and High Net Worth Individuals across the globe, not only for men but also for women?
As London is a truly international city with so many languages spoken and cultures synergised, international buyers do feel like they are at home here. HNWIs relocate here to give the best education for their children – starting from prestigious private and state primary schools through to the best universities. This especially is important for women and very often our clients choose buying ‘off-plan’, a payment scheme where the buyer does not have to pay the whole price at the time and pays only 10% at the stage of the reservation. This is very attractive for families who are not planning to relocate, but are buying for their children who are aiming to go to London universities or work in one of the world’s major financial companies with offices in London.
A great thing about the London property market is that you can find your ideal home here.
Women in most cases are looking not for a property but for a feeling – it is important for them that the property is cosy and gives the right emotion and atmosphere. Women always looks at a property as a home even when buying it as an investment. A large part of our clients are women, and as well as men there are some who like only traditional London properties and some who prefer newly built properties.
A great thing about the London property market is that you can find your ideal home here. It does not matter if you are dreaming about the high-tech newly-built penthouse with 360 views over London, or a large family home with high ceilings, fireplace and a private garden hidden from everyone’s eyes.
What makes a prime location the key to choosing a residential or a commercial property?
Prime London areas are not only prestigious, but less volatile in times of any crisis. There are opinions that the super prime London property market lives its own life and does not depend on microeconomic factors – it is the situation in the world that affects it.
In some ways you have to be a psychologist to help buyers to find the right area as every person is different with his or her own habits and lifestyle.