60% surge in GCC investors buying UK property

60% surge in GCC investors buying UK property

Leading financial advisory firm reports month-on-month uplift in enquiries from investors in the UAE and Qatar for British real estate.


  • In January there was a 60% month-on-month rise in interest from investors based in the UAE and Qatar
  • 45% of all enquiries in UK property from international investors at one of the world’s largest financial advisory firms originate from GCC states
  • Demand for luxury real estate outside London continues to rise

There’s been a significant increase in the number of investors from the GCC looking to buy UK property since the start of 2016.

Already one of the most popular overseas assets for property investors from the Gulf, in January there was a 60% month-on-month rise in enquiries regarding UK real estate from investors based in the UAE and Qatar.

The global financial advisory firm responsible for the findings, deVere, are attributing this fresh spike in interest to the prospect of higher stamp duty charges from April, changes that were first announced in UK Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement.

“People based in these Gulf nations are now piling into the British property market,” declared Kevin White, Head of Distribution at deVere United Kingdom. “We attribute this rush-to-buy phenomenon to those who, quite sensibly, want to avoid being subjected to the extra levy.  No-one wants to pay an extra 3% in stamp duty.”

British real estate is established as a popular asset for wealthy Emiratis and Qataris, along with expatriates that reside in these territories. Of the 70% of enquiries deVere receives from international and expat investors, approximately 45% of these are made by clients in the UAE and Qatar.

London’s exclusive addresses have long proven to be attractive to Gulf investors; indeed GCC countries account for the highest proportion of the foreign buyers in the UK’s capital city.

But property in other cities across Britain have also started to ignite Middle Eastern interest. Investors from Dubai and the wider-UAE now make up the largest number of international owners of investment property in regional UK cities.

When Select Property launched CitySuites Manchester there was a notable rise in enquiries from its global investor community. Attracted by the high yields from luxury serviced apartments in one of the UK’s fastest growing economies, a large proportion of the first units released were purchased by GCC investors that make up 24% of Select Property’s total investor base.

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