Will the Year of the Rat be a lucky omen for property in London?

We were intrigued by this report from Harrods Estates reported in Property Investor Today that interest from Chinese buyers in London properties has risen from 2.5% in 2016 to 20% in 2019.

2020 is the Year of the Rat – and the Chinese New Year a period of celebration for the estimated 120,250 Chinese people living in London, comprising 1.5% of the city’s population. It is thought that Chinese clients desire a base in the capital and Chinese families especially want to give their children a British education.

For the year 2020, in particular, the Year of the Rat is significant for those thinking of buying a home; the Rat denotes clever and quick thinkers who are successful, yet content with living a quiet and peaceful life. For New Year’s Day specifically – where the Rat represents the beginning of a new day – it is forbidden to sweep or clean the house, or else good fortune will be swept away.

Zah Azeem, Partner, Scrivener Tibbatts adds: “Wimbledon could be the next big property hotspot for Chinese buyers as we have several new-build developments near the River Thames – and flowing water is a sign of good fortune in Chinese culture. Another preferred choice is near Marylebone, close to the Chinese Embassy.”

For Harrods Estates and its high-net-worth Chinese clientele, it’s common for an appointed Feng Shui master to make an initial visit to check on the suitability of a property before a client makes their own viewing or places an offer based on lucky numbers only (6, 8 and 9).

Simon Barry, head of new developments at Harrods Estates, concludes: “London has long been known as a multicultural and world-class city, so it stands to reason that we’re seeing increasingly affluent Chinese clients come through our doors looking for the perfect property which has a positive energy and auspicious Chi.

“We’ve seen interest in new developments which provide a blank canvas – without what could be described as ‘energy locks’ from past owners. In several cases, many new developments in London are Chinese-backed projects from Hong Kong and mainland China investors.”

He says confidence from Chinese buyers has been ‘undimmed by the prospect of the UK’s future outside the EU’.

If you would like to discuss this or something related to a valuation please contact our Feng Shui master zah@scrivenertibbatts.co.uk or call us on 020 8947 7040.