‘Indians to spend 10-15 bn pounds in buying British homes’

August 11th, 2008 - 6:40 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 11 (IANS) Indians are expected to spend between 10 and 15 billion pounds over the next decade in buying homes in Britain, a leading British estate agent was quoted saying Monday. Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) director Simon Halfhide told the Times newspaper that by 2025 nearly 600 million Indians will have sufficient financial means to invest in British residential property.

India is home to around 125,000 dollar-millionaires and the estate agent estimates that Indians will buy between 20,000 and 30,000 British residential properties over the next decade.

Halfhide, who is in charge of new homes at JLL, said his company is laying the foundations for a “long-term effort”.

“There is a lot of foreign buying in London. The Russians and Saudis have been famously active. But so far India has been relatively untapped … There are a lot of people in the industry looking over our shoulders to see how we do,” Halfhide told The Times.

JLL is partnering Berkeley Group, a FTSE 250-listed building company, in a bid to market buy-to-let British properties to Indians.

They were joined by ICICI and HDFC banks at events held in Mumbai and Delhi recently, The Times reported.

Berkeley is marketing flats in two properties: Stanmore Place, a low-rise apartment block in a northwest suburb of London where prices start at about 250,000 pounds, and the much more expensive Aquarius House, next to Vauxhaull Bridge in London. These flats cost as much as a million pounds.

Halfhide told the newspaper that the Indians were less fussy about post codes - that signify status - than buyers from other emerging economies.

“The Russians tend to like Belgravia, and you probably wouldn’t want to pitch Stanmore at a Saudi,” he said.

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