London-based property developer Almacantar is upbeat about sales of units at its luxury, high-rise residential project Centre Point as the weaker pound post-Brexit lures high-net-worth Thais to look for property in the British capital.
Residential sales director Tracy Hughes said the British currency has dipped 12% against the baht after the Brexit vote in June, helping Thais to make up their minds about buying a place at Centre Point last month.
“As soon as the pound became weak after Britain’s decision to leave the EU, many international buyers came back immediately, including Americans who had shied away from London’s property market for years,” Ms Hughes said.
Thais were also among the early birds. The number of apartments sold to Thai buyers has doubled since the Brexit vote.
“We decided to come back to Bangkok to close more sales among Thai buyers after we came twice, once last May and the other time last year.”
Centre Point is a 34-storey project, formerly an office building, constructed in 1966. Protected by Historic England, previously part of English Heritage, it is being renovated as an apartment block. Almacantar acquired it in 2011 and launched the project for sale 18 months ago.
It will have 82 units sized from 744 square feet (around 70 sq metres) priced £1.9 million (87 million baht) to a 7,223-sq-ft duplex penthouse with the price offered by buyers. Leasehold contracts last for 999 years.
The majority of Thai buyers have gone for the larger apartments on the upper floors where there will be two units per floor. Thai buyers prefer high-rises as they are familiar with them in Thailand, said Ms Hughes.
With renovation starting in January 2015, the project is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of next year.
To date more than half of the total units are available for sale. The largest number of buyers were Thais, followed by Europeans, Asians and those from the Middle East.
“Most Thai buyers purchased for their children’s education but there are some buying for rent as the project’s location is near the business district,” Ms Hughes added.
According to property consultant CBRE (Thailand), the price appreciation on residential properties in Westminster, where Centre Point is located, has seen growth of 10.8% year-on-year, 29.6% in the past three years and 64.3% in the past five years.
“Some people expect a weaker pound in the future but some are concerned about a quick rebound,” she said.