Overseas buyers now account for almost 50% of all prime central London buyers over the past 5 years. They also account for just under a third of sellers.
The trend means that overseas investors are increasing their share of the London market most noticeable at the top end of the spectrum (£10 million plus).
London's cosmopolitan atmosphere is a draw however the exchange rate and London's role as a safe haven for international money is the primary driver in the current market. Property in desirable locations are increasinly being held as investment assets driving a price growth in 2010 of around 4.6% as opposed to neligable increases in the remainder of the market.
The main "prime" areas are Westminster and Kenstington & Chelsea where the value per hectare in the latter borough tops £50 million. Some commentators are still predicting a meduim range (3-5 year) price increase of around a third on prime central London properties so this trend of foreign investment looks set to continue.