The UK, and London in particular, is a preferred location for Bahrainis seeking to build or expand an international real estate portfolio. This is due, in part, to the UK being seen as a safe haven for investments, with a robust residential and commercial property market which has generally enjoyed strong capital growth over the past 20 years.
The UK also has a reputation for high standards in education, a cosmopolitan and inclusive culture, and a well-developed infrastructure.
There can be little wonder, then, why Middle Eastern High Net Worth individual investors have historically perceived the UK as being a prime destination for real estate investment, and may continue to so do post-Brexit.
The UK’s decision on 23 June 2016 to leave the EU has left the economic and financial future of the UK less certain, and some investors looking to buy property in the UK have adopted a “wait and see” approach. However, we continue to see a high interest for investment in the UK despite Brexit and its potential impact.
An additional incentive for investment is the lower value of Sterling relative to other currencies. Statistics reveal that to a dollar investor London properties are 31%cheaper than the market peak in 2007. There has also been speculation that some of the tax changes announced by the British Government in 2015 may be abolished and this, coupled with the lower pound, will make it likely that investors from Bahrain and elsewhere could save large amounts of money when investing in UK real estate.
When or if Article 50 is invoked, and the UK leaves the EU, some EU regulations and laws may be discarded. This could make investment into the UK simpler and more investor-friendly, ultimately enhancing the UK’s status as a global investment destination.