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Overseas property to attract City money

Property experts are confident that Christmas bonuses will still be spent on bricks and mortar, despite the gloomy outlook in the financial and property markets.

However, it will be the overseas property markets and more prestigious locations in the UK that will benefit most.

Despite forecasts that London’s City workers might see their seasonal bonuses diminish by an average 16%, the pot still is estimated to reach £7.4 billion, and a substantial amount will be spent on property.

But next year, property experts believe over 70% of the money invested in property will be channelled overseas.

‘We have seen a 17% rise in enquiries this month, as workers focus on maximising their bonus on investment opportunities, rather than “splashing” their money around.

‘We are expecting a significant amount of bonus money to be spent on overseas property with some of the more interesting global destinations. For example, there has already been a sharp rise in enquiries about Panama and Malaysia,’ says Alistair Powell from Seven Continent Investment.

City bonuses also will be spent closer to home, with London likely to be the main beneficiary of bonus cash.

Chris Carter, sales director of London based property portfolio specialist Property Brief, says: ‘City bonuses again will help support the London market in terms of buy to let and upgrading main homes. Prestigious locations popular with City workers, like Chelsea and Knightsbridge, should deliver the best rate of growth in the New Year.’

However, investors should not look only at established prime locations, suggests Mr Carter. ‘This is an excellent time for investors to secure some competitive deals at auctions and from developers.’