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International investors bought £2.2 billion of central London new-build property in 2012

The most active overseas buyers are from Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and Russia

New figures from Knight Frank show the £2.2 billion figure for 2012 is up from £1.8 billion in 2011. A total of 52 nationalities bought new-build property in central London last year, the most active overseas buyers being from Singapore (22 per cent), Hong Kong (16 per cent), China (5 per cent), Malaysia (4 per cent) and Russia (3 per cent).

UK buyers remain in the majority, with a 27 per cent market share

Knight Frank suggests the three major factors for the rise are investment opportunities, currency differential and the capital's impressive education opportunities, especially for buyers from Asia.

Gráinne Gilmore, Head of UK residential research, said: “ International interest in London property is not a new phenomenon, but the economic and financial changes since 2007 have created a fresh model for overseas investment in new-build property. Agents report that the appetite for London property remains strong, and there is an increasing interest in London property from a widening range of overseas buyers, especially some emerging economies where economic growth has remained robust during the downturn.”