Location, a sizeable garden, and good transport links: few British homebuyers are in any doubt over what they are looking for in their next property purchase, especially if they are buying in London.

But according to Knight Frank owned buying service, the Buying Solution, the demands of international buyers in London are often very different to those of British purchasers, and varying needs often correspond with specific nationalities.

While Americans are keen on spacious rooms and a sense of security, for example, the French are happy to live in smaller spaces, and prefer apartment living. In terms of location, buyers from South East Asia are likely to look for a new, high rise apartment in Knightsbridge or Kensington as opposed to Russians who tend to prefer grand, conspicuous houses in Hampstead or Belgravia.

?Without being stereotypical the various nationalities that we act for tend to want distinctly different properties in their favoured parts of London,? said a Buying Solution spokesman.

?If I receive a call from a businessman based in China or Korea the likelihood is that he would prefer to live in a new home, perhaps overlooking water and with some accommodation for staff. My Russian clients are sometimes keen to live in prominent stuccoed Belgravia and knowing something of their needs helps speed the process of finding them the right place to live,? he added.


The Buying Solution has compiled the following guide, which is a broad outline of common needs from the most frequent overseas nationalitites buying in the capital:

Nationality

American

Concerns

Security since 9/11, community feel and close to the action

Desires

Functionality. A bit of America in London – so large fridges, lots of closet space, range cookers, space and light. American furniture can be large so double fronted houses are popular

Favoured Areas

For Connecticut types ? Hampstead and Wimbledon; for New York City, Chicago, Washington types ? Notting Hill Gate particularly Landsdown Crescent, Stanley Gardens and Kensington Park Road

Nationality

SE Asian

Concerns

Houses must be ?auspicious?, old houses not favoured, staff accommodation often a must, basement car parks, location not at ?T? junctions or triangular sites

Desires

Many want lock up and leave apartments ? high rises favoured particularly if overlooking water; kitchens with windows; neutral decoration favoured with whites and beiges top of the list. Apartments with high levels of service are preferred ? concierge and porterage is a high priority

Favoured Areas

Knightsbridge, Kensington and Bayswater on the Hyde Park Estate

Nationality

Russian

Concerns

Security a must ? gated communities and CCTV installations; staff accommodation

Desires

Russians like grand show-off style houses. Younger Russians are very label conscious. Favoured designers are Candy & Candy, with bathrooms by Kohler. They prefer modern fittings and ‘toys’ such as plasma screens and media/cinema rooms

Favoured Areas

Hampstead, Highgate, Belgravia and Knightsbridge

Nationality

French and Italian

Concerns

They prefer easy commuting; proximity to national schools

Desires

Apartment living is preferred; older and period properties. Italians like spacious kitchens and dining rooms for home entertaining. This is less important for the French who tend to eat out more. Italians are very style conscious and like green views, especially if they are from Milan. French are happy to live in smaller spaces

Favoured Areas

The French adore South Kensington (it’s close to the Lycee) and Bute Street is a little Paris. Italians with big purses like the Regent?s Park area and particularly Primrose Hill