Country houses for sale

Middle Eastern buying surge

House buyers from the Middle East and the United States are heading to Britain’s shores to take advantage of the twin benefits of considerable price reductions and favorable exchange rates.

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With vendors reducing asking prices by 20-25% in order to stimulate interest, the overall cost of purchase is effectively halved when buying in dollars.

‘We were expecting a pretty dead November and December but instead there’s been a surge of interest mainly from the Middle East,’ says John Denney, director of Hamptons International country houses.

‘In some cases, prices have dropped by 50% from this time last year for those buying with dollars.’

Alex Wright of Corporate FX says that dollar is strengthening on account of falling oil prices and the “Obama factor”. ‘The AED is pegged to the US dollar so Middle Eastern buyers can take advantage of an increasingly attractive UK property market.’

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