Perfect purchasing partner for Hong Kong buyers

Posted on 17 Aug, 2020

Viewber is helping Hong Kong residents buy UK property, thanks to our totally digitalized, online property visits and reporting service.

Viewber is increasingly finding that UK properties are catching the eye of buyers from Hong Kong – with residents almost 6,000 miles and 7 time zones away booking our Viewbers to undertake property visits on their behalf.

Our island is no stranger to overseas interest. After all, the UK is often described as a ‘safe haven’ for those looking to invest their wealth, educate their children or settle permanently if their home land provides a more turbulent backdrop.

Far East flavours

In 2020, it is the Far East that is tuned in most keenly to the UK property market.

“Looking at a recent dashboard of Viewber viewings, it was a Hong Kong based buyer using a local Viewber in Cheshire to look at nearby property and send her a report that gave me a warm feeling,” says Viewber’s founder, Ed Mead. “The visit was all booked online and our report delivered back through Viewber’s digital platform, so the potential buyer could browse the feedback in Hong Kong at a time that suited her. How cool is that?”

Send a Viewber from wherever you are in the world

Our Viewbers are trained to provide buyers – no matter where they are – with professional property insights relating to any UK property. International purchasers can choose from our extensive service list so they can make well-informed decisions, with a live WhatsApp video viewing, a recorded room-by-room walkthrough, a 360 degree virtual tour with accompanying floorplan and a comprehensive property report, substantiated by photographs and footage available to international buyers.

We’re in: access to UK properties for sale

The Telegraph ran an article recently on the rise of the Hong Long buyer, detailing the race to purchase property in the UK – and not just in London. Viewber offers nationwide coverage and is therefore perfectly placed to help buyers looking in high-yield areas wherever they are, including York, Manchester and Bath - all mentioned in the article by estate agents as hotspots favoured by Hong Kong residents.

“Our Viewbers become an excellent purchasing partner for those buying from afar,” adds Ed. “Although it was not always viable to hop on a plane from Hong Kong to view a property in person, it certainly will be more difficult from now on. A Viewber visiting a property on behalf of an overseas buyer is the next best thing to being there in person, and is now an essential prelude to a purchase and making a permanent move to the UK.”

Why leave Hong Kong?

Hong Kong has become somewhat of a global volatility hotspot. Since the crown colony reverted back to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, there has been a bubbling sense of civil unrest that has boiled over of late, mainly as a result of new security rules.

Its links to the UK, however, have not been totally severed and in July 2020, the Prime Minister announced that up to three million Hong Kong residents are to be offered the chance to settle in the UK and ultimately apply for a British National Overseas passport.

Why move to or invest in UK property?

The Government’s ‘way out’ for Hong Kong residents adds to a positive property picture for Far East buyers. The exchange rate of the HK Dollar against GBP Sterling heavily favours the overseas purchaser, while yields in the UK outweigh those in locations such as China, for instance – 6-8% compared to 2-4%, respectively.

There is also a window of opportunity between now and 1st April 2021 for overseas buyers to complete on a property purchase here in the UK and save thousands of pounds. This date is when the Chancellor’s stamp duty holiday ends (international buyers qualify for the discount in the same way as UK buyers do), and when a new 2% stamp duty surcharge will be added to the bill of international purchasers.

“Since news broke of Boris Johnson offering a Hong Kong exit to millions, the Viewber inbox has gone crazy with residents asking for reports on properties they’re looking at online. If the requests we’re getting at Viewber for our preview reports are anything to go by, there really are a huge number of people in Hong Kong waiting to move to the UK.”

The trend noted at Viewber is also reflected in the mortgage market. Analysis of Legal & General Mortgage Club’s SmartCriteria date revealed that searches by mortgage advisers heavily featured the terms ‘expats not in the UK’ and ‘foreign income’ during July, while one in every 22 residential searches is for a query relating to an applicant currently on a visa or an expat not based in the UK.

Kevin Roberts, the director of the Club, was reported as saying “Our latest findings coincide with increased interest from Hong Kong buyers, who are now looking to the UK housing market as a ‘safe haven’ amidst political uncertainty in the territory.”

 

Talk to us about booking a Viewber to conduct a property visit on your behalf or browse our ‘instant answers’ section for further details.

 

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