It is considered that elite real estate in London makes interest only for immigrants from Russia and the Middle East. While most share this opinion, the Africans are slowly buying up luxury property in the heart of the British capital, spending an astronomical amount of €1 million per day. Their actions are repeating the Russian behavior 5 years ago. In this article the ee24.com describes, from what countries do the African investors come, what properties they are mostly interested in and why they move to London right now?
A million euros per day
Over the past three years, Africans have invested almost £600m (€760m) in real estate in London, or £4m (€5m) per week. Of course, the transaction does not take place every day, as the rich people from the hot continent don’t exchange on the cramped apartments or house son the city outskirts.
The Africans buy the houses in London for £15-25 million (€20-30 million), it dramatically exceeds the costs of the Europeans, the Americans and the Asians
The average amount is £15-25 million (€20-30 million), it dramatically exceeds the costs of the Europeans, the Americans and the Asians. Statistics clearly shows that in the high-premium real estate segment Africans made 1.5% of purchases, but they make up 5% of sales by value (Beauchamp Estates). According to other sources, related with the "ordinary premium" property, 43.7% of buyers are the Africans, 17.1% come from the Middle East and another 10% are Asians and UK buyers (Black Brick).
Nigerians are far ahead
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh in the world. On its small area live as many people as on the joined territory of Russia and Canada, namely about 180 million people. In 2050, 440 million people will live in Nigeria (outlook of PewResearch). We can only guess what will happen to London, if the migration trend will remain the same. In general, it is not surprising that citizens of Nigeria are frontrunners in the number of transactions on such a "hot" elite real estate market like London, living behind their continent neighbors. From £600 million, which Africans spent on housing in London for the past three years, the share of Nigerians amounts £250 million, ie more than 40%.
The wealthiest Nigerian business woman Folorunsho Alakija is also actively buying up property in London
Among recent buyers was seen richest Africa’s man, a Nigerian Aliko Dangote, whose wealth exceeds €20 billion. The wealthiest Nigerian business woman Folorunsho Alakija is also actively buying up property in London. Her savings are modest and account €2 billion, which, however, did not prevent her from getting into the Forbes top 100 of the most powerful women in the world. She has recently bought 4 apartments in one of the most elite residential complexes in London.
In addition to the Nigerians, citizens of Congo, the third most populous country in Africa (except Egypt, which is often referred to the Middle East) are also actively buying property. Also, there are many buyers from Gabon, Cameroon and Senegal. But the citizens of South Africa, one of the most rapidly developing countries of the continent, which is part of the BRICS, are not observed on London’s elite residential market.
Developers of One Hyde Park managed to collect all the world’s most powerful persons under one roof, not a one summit was able to do that
Not a golden but platinum triangle
In many cities there are golden triangles or squares – areas with the most expensive and elite housing. But in the case of London is not so simple: in a time when prices hit records in the UK capital, they also point out a platinum triangle, which might be world’s most luxury and exclusive. Maybe excluding Manhattan or Hong Kong.
Platinum real estate in London is sold inside a triangle, bounded by areas of Mayfair, Belgravia and Knightsbridge. They are all border with Hyde Park on the east or southeast. In Knightsbridge recently was built One Hyde Park residential complex, which is often called European’s most expensive and desired. Developers of One Hyde Park managed to collect all the world’s most powerful persons under one roof, not a one summit was able to do that. Recently one investor, presumably from Eastern Europe, purchased apartment there for a record price of €170 million. Nigerian Folorunsho Alakija, whom we mentioned above, bought her 4 London apartment in the One Hyde Park.
Luxury housing in Mayfair, it's one of three areas with "platinum" property in London
To the west of Hyde Park is located another prestigious area – Kensington, with its holy of holies – Kensington Palace Gardens, commonly known as the "street of billionaires". Nearly a kilometer of mansions owned by world’s richest people, as well as of the embassies of Russia, Nepal, Romania, Israel, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Following the Russians and the Ukrainians
Gary Hersham, Managing Director of Beauchamp Estates, says that "buyers or tenants of luxury housing from Africa, behave just like the Russians and the Ukrainians did 5 years ago" (Daily Mail). It means that almost everything is purchased for own residence, but not as an investment, with preference given to the most prestigious areas, and often it comes to buying for education purposes.
Kensington Palace Gardens, commonly known as the "street of billionaires
The opportunity to study in private schools, such as the King's School Canterbury, Wycombe Abbey or Cheltenham Ladies College, really attracts Africans who cannot get a proper level of such services at home. According to the Nigerian embassy its compatriots spend €380 million per year for education in London. This includes salary of tutors and costs for schools, colleges and universities.
Another reason for the activation of buyers from Africa is Ebola outbreak that affected Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Mali, Democratic Republic of the Congo and took almost 6,000 lives. However in Nigeria things are not so dramatic: disease killed 8 people, and for the past two months, there were no cases of a new infection.
African buyers of luxury housing in London are often the citizens of Nigeria, Congo, Gabon, Cameroon and Senegal
Another reason for Nigerians to feel unsafe in their own country is the growth of the terrorist threat. Islamist "Boko Haram" sect was recognized by the UN Security Council in May this year as a terrorist organization, it’s known for its anti-government activities, and its methods include explosions, attacks on police, attacks on Christian churches, abductions and massacres ... They want to run away from all that. No wonder that in London Nigerians prefer fenced and well protected houses and residential complexes – just as in their homeland.
Text: Kirill Ozerov, ee24.com
Photo: swns.com, shutterstock.com
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