THE influx of foreigners snapping up property in expensive areas of London is giving Dorset’s own luxury property market a boost.
Poole estate agent Adrian Dunford, whose Sandbanks-based company Tailor Made sold £50million worth of property last year, said: “What we’re seeing is people moving out of London because they feel in the minority.
“They feel London isn’t the place it once was. They’re moving from places like Belgravia because they feel surrounded.”
Recent figures show that out of 7,000 new homes built in what is known as prime central London (PCL) – which includes areas such as Mayfair, Kensington, Chelsea, Knightsbridge and the West End – more than 5,000 went to overseas buyers.
Those from China and Singapore accounted for 40 per cent of sales.
The average asking price for a property in PCL is now £1.53m, although one flat near Hyde Park recently sold for £29.35 million.
In Poole, properties in the most sought-after parts of Sandbanks, Branksome Park and Canford Cliffs can change hands for millions, with those next to the water commanding the highest prices.
But so far, Mr Dunford says the area does not seem to have been discovered by foreign investors in any significant way.
“Who’s not coming here are Arabs, Russians and Chinese,” he said.
“Our typical clients are people that have made some money and are looking to retire. They either have a second home here and are moving abroad or are going to have their main UK property here and buy another in France or another country.
“That hasn’t really changed.”
Tailor Made is currently selling a new developer-built house in a prime harbourside location on the peninsula for £7.25m, where neighbours include football manager Harry Redknapp and his wife Sandra.
In the mid-1960s, Beatle John Lennon paid just £25,000 to buy his Aunt Mimi a little pink bungalow called Harbour’s Edge on an adjoining plot, but it was demolished to make way for a new house in the early 1990s.