Italians snap up luxury London properties

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Wealthy Italians are rushing to buy luxury London properties, racing ahead of Russians as the biggest foreign group purchasing properties in the city.

The latest figures from property company, Knight Frank, found that Italians accounted for 7.3% of all purchases in January and February this year.

This is a significant increase on the 2.1% of transactions made by Italians in the same period last year.

Italians are now overtaking Russian property investors, who made 7.2% of purchases. This figure applies to homes worth an average of £3.7 million.

The London Prime Home Index found that overseas investors are turning to luxury London properties to preserve their wealth. This is in the face of political instability in their own home markets.

In the last two months, some 3% of purchases were made by Greeks, placing them among the top five biggest foreign buyers in London.

The index covers 13 of the most expensive areas in central London including Belgravia, Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Mayfair, Notting Hill and St Johns Wood.

The average price of luxury real estate in these locations increased by 0.7% in February. Over the last 12 months alone, prices rose by 11.6% while sales have increased by 85%.

Liam Bailey, Knight Frank's head of residential research, told Sky News: "The rationale for the revival has been well rehearsed: weak pound, plus capital flight, plus rising global wealth, minus thin supply, equals rampant price inflation.”

"The most telling sign of this shift in investor attitude came in January when Italian purchasers became the biggest foreign purchaser group, replacing Russians who have held this position for several years.”

If you are sending money to Italy think carefully about how you will transfer money. Remember that foreign currency exchange rates quoted by banks are almost always worse than the exchange rates available through specialist currency dealers.

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Italians snap up luxury London properties

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