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Looking for big fry: middle-class international property investment in an uncertain world
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
2016 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

What is the geography and impact of investment by international middle-class investors? The global financial crisis has, if anything, propelled investments in key urban centres like London, with wealthy international individuals purchasing residential properties in prime locations as a secure way to park their assets. While much of the popular debate on the London housing market focuses on the inward capital from Russia and Europe, it has neglected the significant investment flow from Hong Kong. The city offers insight into the motivations and strategies of international investors, but also evidence of a capital switch by mid to lower tier investors who now view London as expensive and who are being re-directed by investment intermediaries highlighting the value of investing in the north of England. Unlike the infamous super-rich investors in London's super prime markets these investors engage in off-plan purchases in mid-markets. In this article we characterise these flows in three distinct waves between the early 1990s and 2014, namely the pre-1997 handover migration investment wave that took place between the early 1990s and 1997; the frying London wave that appeared after the global financial crisis in 2007, and an expanded, post-metropolitan wave. This latter wave is of particular interest because it suggests a greater embedding of the infrastructure of intermediaries in UK social conditions, thus opening a new cognitive geography of investment but which is also shaped by the sense that London's gains have now largely been exhausted.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Hong Kong, London, residential property investment, super-rich, middle class, financial crisis
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-294849OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-294849DiVA: diva2:931462
Housing Wealth and Welfare, University of Amsterdam
Available from: 2016-05-27 Created: 2016-05-27 Last updated: 2016-05-27

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Ho, Hang Kei
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