International investors clued up on the capital’s property market at Buy London, a showcase hosted by The Wharf and Sina.
Sina, a Chinese property portal, taps into a population of 1.4billion and attracted dozens of clients to the discussion and networking event at London Marriott Hotel West India Quay on October 14.
After they enjoyed welcome drinks and canapes, the five guest speeches from developers, estate agents and Crossrail were kicked off by residential research director at Hamptons International, Fionnuala Earley.
And those who flocked from the Far East would have journeyed home with the secret to making a million pounds.
The tricks of the trade came courtesy of MyLondonHome’s sales and lettings director Christian Thomas.
The firm - joint sponsors alongside Hamptons International - specialises in assignment, which means it works with clients who have bought a property and are then hoping to sell before completion.
Christian’s “route one to one million” means buyers buy five units, put down a deposit of 20 per cent on each, then wait.
They then sell at the right time and bang, the pound signs flow.
The good points? Minimal cash input and no stamp duty but the downsides, he said, was the risky investment market and the danger a deal may have to be completed and incur costs.
“But there’s plenty of stock to buy and plenty of demand - so what could go wrong?,” said Christian.
He then told The Wharf: “One of the nations that famous for doing these investments is China.
“We are considered assignment specialists, so it was a natural fit.
“It’s a balanced discussion, though, and I’m not blinding people with science.
“Assignment sales is something that isn’t liked to be talked about as it creates pressure for developers.
“But they leave it within the contracts because they appreciate it’s a mechanism of making sure something gets sold.”
East London investor Elsie Li said she was keen to attend for information about the general investment landscape and predictions for the London property market.
She plumped for two properties in the East End this year.
“It was taking into consideration the completion of Crossrail in 2018,” she said.
“And I think in general, east London is underpriced in comparison to west London and there’s the environment too - it’s Zone Two and there’s a lot of greenery.
“There are a lot of opportunities available and it’s exciting the Island is being developed.”
Fellow investor Wei Zhao said: “I invested in London two years ago but now if you want to live here, you have to pay more.
“Now I don’t know the market so I’m interested in what’s going on around here.”