RICH Chinese investors are snapping up multi-million pound Scots homes – because they are “inexpensive”.
Wealthy Chinese families have been showing growing interest in Scotland’s “affordable” high end property market.
Interested buyers have even flown halfway across the world to view extravagant mansions that most would only be able to dream of acquiring.
And estate agents across the country have revealed that as a result, there has been a surge in the sales of properties over £750,000 in recent months.
House prices in Scotland remain modest compared to those in London, China’s big cities and Hong Kong.
A private island off Scotland’s west coast is currently up for sale for just £550,000 – the same price as a one-bedroomed flat in certain parts of London.
Agents at Savills, CKD Galbraith, Rettie and Strutt and Parker say they have all had recent interest from Chinese investors, particularly in Edinburgh properties.
They say that education plays a key role in the city’s appeal, with several sought-after private schools located in the centre.
Blair Stewart, a partner at Strutt & Parker, said: “Two or three high net worth Chinese buyers who have children going into St George’s and Fettes have come over recently.They want houses nearby in the Inverleith area.
“Last week we had a Chinese buyer fly over to look at Windmill House, a £2.8 million property in Edinburgh.
“The buyer’s daughter is going to St George’s School, right next to the house, and he was over from Beijing and thought that the Edinburgh property market was very inexpensive.”
Windmill House, located in secluded grounds in the heart of Murrayfield, boasts ten bedrooms, eight bathrooms and an impressive south-facing terrace.
It is described as being in “one of the most desirable residential areas in the city” with private riverside access to the Water of Leith.
CKD Galbraith said Chinese buyers were registering their interest in Edinburgh residential properties across all price brackets, while Rettie reported interest in modern flats in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Max Mills, at Rettie, said: “High-end contemporary flats appeal to Chinese buyers. One example is Quartermile [in Edinburgh], because it’s a new development.
“It was designed by an award-winning architect, and it comprises shiny new properties with lots of glass and stainless steel, which reminds them of upmarket flats in the Far East.
“Chinese business people find Edinburgh on their radar before Glasgow, but I have met buyers interested in both cities.”
Peter Lyell, of Savills Edinburgh Residential, said: “We have had three sales at Quartermile alone to buyers from China, Hong Kong and Singapore already this year.
“There are more being sold as new-build investment properties in the same development.”
A new study shows that house sales at the upper end of the market picked up across Scotland last month.
The market for properties over £750,000 slumped sharply in April after the Scottish government introduced the land and buildings transactions tax, which raised stamp duty on expensive homes.