How not to sell a London property to Malaysians

I spotted the sign below on a lamp post in Damansara this morning. In case you can’t read it, the content is as follows:

London – Condo
Good Buy & Invest (sic)
West London £220k
Call for Preview
012XXXXXXX

I cannot believe that a genuine UK property developer or estate agent would encourage a company to sell million Ringgit properties with signs on lamp posts. After all the UK property market, and in particular the London market is benefitting from substantial investment and has hardly been affected by the global financial crisis.

Commercial property
Jones Lang LasSalle expects the total direct investment in commercial real estate in the UK to be around £23 billion (RM125billion) for 2009. Prime yields in the West End are 5% and in the city, around 6.25%. That’s impressive compared with a bank rate of, well about 0%.

Residential Property
Meanwhile, the residential market is also performing strongly. International buyers increased by 25% in 2009 compared to 2008. Most of the investment is coming from Europe, Russia and the Middle East. Knight Frank estimates demand from new buyers is “almost 25% higher than a year ago” and “prices have now risen 13.8% in the nine months since March.”

In fact, most of the investment is coming from the overseas market. Foreign buyers account for 80% of the investment, the highest ever. Indeed, the average over the last 10 years has been closer to 46%. The latest sources of this overseas investment include Oman, Libya, Lebanon, USA, Korea and Ireland.

UK property roadshow
Little wonder then that Malaysian firms want to get in on the act and sell UK property. I can’t find any figures on the total Malaysian investment in the UK or London property market however, the recent launch of a luxury development at Imperial Wharf, London, Malaysian buyers purchased £9.25 million (RM56 million) worth of luxury apartments and penthouses over the 2-day road show in Kuala Lumpur.

Olympic games
With more than 10,000 Malaysians studying in the UK and a number of companies keen to make the UK their European HQ, there are going to be plenty of willing buyers. Especially with the Olympics to held in London in 2012.

Wrong way to sell
But this is not the way to sell those properties. It dilutes the value of the property, negatively impacts the credibility of the local representation and makes it harder for future efforts to sell UK properties here in Malaysia. But worst of all, it portrays Malaysia as an amateur in a professional world.

Updated: 11th January 2010. I have since called the number on the bunting. I spoke to a nice guy with a pleasant attitude. I asked him where the property is. He stated the property was in South Ealing. As I know this area well I asked for the exact location and I consider it to be more Brentford than Ealing. He asked for my email address and promised to email me more information.

That was last Thursday, I have not received anything as of today.

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