Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rise In Wealthy French Eyeing London Move


Tue., July 10, 2012
The number of wealthy French people planning a move to London has climbed following François Hollande’s victory in the country’s presidential elections, according to London-based property agents, lawyers and wealth managers, the Financial Timesreported. Knight Frank, the property agent, said sales of prime property to French buyers had risen 40 per cent in the three months to the end of June 2012 compared with the same period in 2011. Average prices paid by these buyers had risen from £1.1m to £3.9m. Liam Bailey, Knight Frank’s head of residential research, said the firm had seen a “noticeable uptick” in French buyers in the past six weeks. “They are buying in the traditional west and south-west postcodes, around Kensington, Notting Hill and Fulham, with some purchasers moving outside London and into the home counties.” The French government last week announced a series of tax rises for the wealthy, including a 75 per cent top rate, a higher annual wealth tax rate for those with net worth of more than €1.3m and a rise in charges for non-residents with French property. Kamal Rahman, head of immigration at law firm Mishcon de Reya, said there was now a “huge momentum” of wealth migration from France triggered by the new tax measures. “I’ve received an increasing number of inquiries in the past week about the best way of relocating, clearly driven by the tax changes,” she said. Interest was also strong among wealthy groups with a historical connection to France, such as those from the Middle East, who were looking to the UK as an alternative, lower-tax location, she said

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