As we step into 2024, the synergy between the UK real estate market and the diversification strategies of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) investors is becoming more pronounced than ever.
In an era marked by economic uncertainty, pulsating global property markets, and shifting investment strategies, the Gulf-UK investment trend hits a new record – GCC property investment in the UK is set to reach $3.2 billion in 2024.
UK property as a diversification strategy
Amid the strong performance of local property markets in Gulf countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), savvy GCC property investors are capitalising on the cash injection of their strong domestic investments by diversifying with UK real estate.
Offering long-term stability, an attractive exchange rate, and a soaring rental market in prime city centres such as Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham, it is no surprise that 33% of GCC High Networth Individuals (HNWI) invested in UK real estate in 2023.
All three of these UK cities are home to world-class universities, including Russell Group institutions, the University of Manchester, the University of Sheffield, and the University of Birmingham. With almost a quarter of UK university students enrolling from overseas, funding and facilitating the higher education of children is another motivation fuelling buyer behaviour.
An emerging luxury scene is attracting GCC investors
GCC investors contributed to $2.35 billion worth of UK luxury property sales in 2023. And that sum reflects more than just monetary value – it’s a testament to the trust and confidence that GCC investors place in the UK property market.
Additionally, a 10% uptick in billionaires investing in UK luxury real estate was seen in 2023 with GCC investors being a dominant demographic responsible for this upward trend. This HNWI investment coincides with an emerging luxury residential scene in prime city centres such as Manchester.
Select Property’s latest Manchester development, One Port Street, raises the benchmark for luxury living in the city through an unrivalled lifestyle and amenity offering. A luxury branded residence, One Port Street is the flagship development within Select Property’s premium brand, the Prestige Collection. Now at 87% sold in under a year, with GBP 80M worth of revenue coming from GCC investors, the market sentiment for luxury UK property is reflected in the confidence of international investors.
UK to scrap pre-entry visa requirements
A logistical ease supports these monetary exchanges, too. Marking the beginning of a new chapter in the strong relationship between regions, UK plans to introduce Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) for Gulf citizens will come into effect from February 2024.
Making property purchases in the UK easier, the ETA means citizens of the Gulf countries can visit the UK for an unlimited number of times in a two-year period, according to the UAE embassy in the UK.
Arabian Business recently reported that the UK hosted around 800,000 visitors from Gulf countries in 2022, with many spending the summer months vacationing in the UK or staying in their investment properties. The new process is said to offer ‘speed, enhanced accessibility and affordability.’
The ripple effect
The surge of GCC investment supports UK job creation, fuels property market stability, and preserves property values. It’s about growth, nurturing a market that stands tall and robust, and enticing further global interest and investment – a testament to the UK’s unwavering appeal and strength.
This story of connectivity solidifies the UK’s position as a hub of international collaboration and showcases the unity of purpose that transcends borders. This tangible sign of the strengthening ties between regions marks a poignant moment in the history of international relations.
A UAE Select Property investor said:
“I have been dealing with Select Property for almost 10 years. They are professional, transparent and knowledgeable. Select always aim for top quality for their various UK property brands, they do not compromise on that at all.
The process is smooth, systemized and easy to handle. It is very quick for a Select Property apartment to be rented out given the quality of materials and finishing, the brand’s reputation and the trust they enjoy in the marketplace.
I would of course invest again. There is no better choice for UK investment for me other than Select Property.” – UAE Select Property Investor
About Select Property
Select Property is an award-winning UK property developer and investment partner, with a strong focus on consultation and service that delivers exceptional residential real estate properties.
Our established presence in the UAE since 2005 means we understand the bespoke needs of GCC clients, supporting them with the overseas purchase process, mortgage solutions if needed, flexible payment plans and investment consultancy. Our team of Arabic-speaking property consultants are always available.