Sunday, September 19, 2010
Smart money or lambs to the slaughter?
Without ever setting eyes on the property, Hong Kong resident Irene Chu snapped up a flat 6,000 miles away in London, a city she has visited but has no intention of ever living in. "I'm not buying the high-end property. I just bought one close to the tube line and that's a pretty safe investment," said the 40-something business executive who paid Â£215,000 pounds for her apartment. Chu isn't alone. Over the past year, Asians have invested a total of Â£761million in newly built apartments in central London, up from around Â£250m a year earlier, according to Knight Frank. Asian property investors are lured by the a confluence of positive factors, a weak British pound, property prices down over 10% from a record high in 2007, and low interest rates.