London: Record numbers of rich Indians are swooping on high-end residential properties in London, thanks to a booming economy, favourable foreign exchange rates and rise in number of students here from affluent Indian families.
In the residential property market in which each house is worth 5 million pounds and above, Indians now figure as the biggest foreign buyers group.
European buyers top the prime market, while Chinese buyers are third, behind Indians, according to Savills, a prominent estate agent.
"Indians are a force to be reckoned with this year as they continue to buy prime residences in London. The favourable exchange rate brought foreign investors to the city?s property market in 2010," Yolande Barnes, head of research at Savills, told.
Indians bought residential property worth 290 million pounds in the city?s prestige areas of Mayfair, Belgravia, South Kensington, Chelsea and Holland Park during 2010. The properties are reported to be second or third homes for a rising number of wealthy Indians, who now account for 7.3 percent of all sales in 5 million pounds-plus residential property market in London.
This puts India ahead of the Asia-Pacific (7.2 percent) in 2.6 billion super-prime real estate market here. The average property in this segment is a four-bedroom house, with a room for domestic help, used as a second home by rich Indians or their children studying in the city.
The largest buyers in the super-prime segment here are the British, who have 40 percent of the properties.
The city continues to lure Europeans, including residents of the former USSR, who hold a 20 percent share.
London is said to be particularly attractive to the global super-rich because of its accessibility, stability, and the global standing of its financial institutions.