Estate agent launches advisory service for foreign property investors

Michael Lloyd

August 28, 2019

James Pendleton has become the first independent estate agent to launch an advisory service for foreign investors who have been investing in London homes.

Founder Lee Pendleton argued that the investment and acquisition advisory service will meet demand from foreign investors buying in bulk in the capital due to falling property values partly because of currency devaluations since the EU referendum.

Pendleton said: “Anyone who thinks foreign investors and funds have beat a retreat from London are mistaken. The only people who have backed away are UK investors.

“Developers can see the market has softened and they are willing to give bigger discounts than at any point in the past 10 years.

“As a result, there are a lot of big overseas funds and investors looking for freehold buildings that have a mix of commercial and residential in them.

“They are hoovering up dozens of homes at a time and their behaviour clearly indicates to us that the bottom of the London market is at hand.

“The prospect of a no-deal Brexit is a concern to some but, in reality, it would only spark a feeding frenzy among these large players who will pile in as the pound falls.

“This is the perfect time to launch our new department, which will cater to patient investors who believe London property at current prices will pay huge dividends over the long term and are so confident in that belief that they are committing vast sums of money.

“The smart money is now looking at the London market, reading the cycle and deciding this is the time to get in.”

He added that a no-deal Brexit would only serve to spark a more intense ‘feeding frenzy’, as these large players ‘pile in’ to take further advantage of further weakness in the value of the pound.

In the latest example of this trend, James Pendleton is currently handling the purchase of 75 units in south-west London as part of a single transaction worth in excess of £40m.

Combined with a currency dividend if these investors can get a 25% discount from a developer, they will be looking at a 40% discount on value overall according to the agent.

However, Pendleton warned there is still very little demand for anything over £1,500 per sq ft — with bulk buyers favouring anything under £800 per sq ft.

James Pendleton is the first independent agent to launch an investment advisory service for institutional and bulk investors.

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