(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Deepak John |
Doha: Qatar, a leading investor in global real estate, is one of the top 20 countries in terms of individual property ownership in the UK. Qatari investments in the UK have reached more than £40bn with real estate being the preferred investment choice, said International Investments Managing Director Nadim Mansour.
Speaking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of the recently concluded Cityscape Qatar 2022, Mansour said:“Qatar is one of the top 20 countries in terms of individual property ownership in the UK. London properties owned by Qataris increased approximately by 50 percent between 2018 and 2021. This demand is driven by a combination of strong structurally supportive market dynamics, stable UK economy and evolving services-focused product, as well as an expanding and more discerning occupier base”.
He added:“UK real estate markets appeal so much to the Qatari investors which is driven by several factors and is still intact even after the Brexit. The increasing number of Qatari investors in the UK are eyeing commercial properties. An overlap of different drivers provides a favourable investment environment – from strong student demand, large-scale city regeneration and development as well as strong employment conditions, and a lack of seniors housing units”.
Speaking about the appealing UK real estate market, Mansour noted that the real estate market in terms of growth and long-term returns on UK house prices increased 15 years ago at 10 percent. So, the growth and the long-term returns were significant.“Global destination vacations, business, and universities are also the main attractions. Build to rent (BTR), student accommodations, and healthcare are now big focus for Qatari investors with portfolios moving to UK with their investments,” Mansour added.
Responding to a query about the hotspots for Qatari investors, he said:“When examining the top five cities in BTR market - London, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Birmingham emerge as opportunity areas across all three residential BTR sectors.We have been focusing as International Investments with our investors to head into that direction and successfully deals were appealing. The repetition of BTR exercises is taking place and very soon we will launch partnership with major Qatari developer, hopefully in 2022 to take over in the markets of UK, especially on students' accommodations and care homes.
“Our record in the Doha market is now exceeding 9 years. The co-relation between the governments helped a lot in bridging business between Qatar and UK. Secondly, the language was the main factor as Qataris speak fluently the English language,” he added.
UK is a safe haven for all investors, said Mansour.“Our job is to link the dots between the developer, the investor, and the property manager. Over the last two years, cross-border investment into UK residential has contributed 61 percent of the total volume of capital deployed. About £5.5bn of cross-border capital invested into UK residential assets in 2021 and the year 2022 is going to overtake that,” Mansour noted.
Citing figures about the growth of Qatari property ownership in the UK in the past few years, he explained that over the past three decades,“our lifestyle has changed significantly leading a shift in housing needs for a growing portion of cities' population. As per Knight Franks outlook 2022, investors plan to invest to a record £16.5bn in UK residential assets in 2022. This would represent a 65 percent increase from the £10.2bn spent in 2021 and projected to reach £65bn in five years,” he added.
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