3 BNO Investment Opportunities in 2023

There has been a recent surge in Hong Kongers buying up UK property, as recently mentioned in the Telegraph by IP Global Director, Jonathan Gordon. This surge in investment can be attributed to a combination of factors, including concerns about political uncertainty, the implementation of the BNO visa, the pursuit of quality education, and the allure of a stable and resilient UK real estate market. This blog post provides a glimpse into the 5 key UK property investment opportunities that we have collated appealing to our Hong Kong clients.

What is BNO?

BNO stands for British National (Overseas). It is a status granted to British subjects who were born in Hong Kong before the handover to China in 1997. BNO holders are not British citizens, but they have the right to live, work and study in the UK.

In July 2020, the UK government announced a new immigration route for BNO holders and their dependents. Under this route, BNO holders can apply for a visa to live and work in the UK for 5 years. After 5 years, they can apply for permanent residency, and after a further year, they can apply for British citizenship.

The new immigration route has been welcomed by many Hong Kongers, who are concerned about the erosion of their freedoms under Chinese rule. The UK government has said that the route is a way to show its support for Hong Kong and its people.

man handing new post Brexit blue British passport Devon, United Kingdom, January, 2021.

Hong Kongers relocating to the UK tend to gravitate towards several key areas, driven by a variety of factors. London, with its global financial hub status, is a primary destination, particularly for those seeking employment opportunities in finance, technology, and other industries. Additionally, Hong Kong immigrants often choose to settle in the suburbs surrounding London, where they can enjoy a high quality of life and easy access to the city for work and leisure.

Cities with notable universities like Oxford and Edinburgh also attract students and academics from Hong Kong, making these cities popular choices.

Beyond the South East, cities like Manchester and Birmingham offer vibrant communities and growing job markets, drawing Hong Kongers in search of diverse opportunities.

Ultimately, the areas chosen for relocation often align with individual preferences and priorities, but these regions consistently stand out as attractive destinations for Hong Kong immigrants looking to establish a new life in the UK.

3 BNO investment opportunities in 2023

Below is the list of investment opportunities that appeal to our Hong Kong investors the most.

1. Investing in property in Oxford for Hong Kongers

It can be a challenge to get property in Oxford. The city's popular with tourists and has a lot of students, which pushes up the demand for housing. Consequently, Oxford has some of the UK's highest property prices. The city's strict heritage preservation rules also make it difficult to get permission for building or renovating properties. If you're thinking of investing, keep in mind that rental yield is not particularly strong in this region but that is because the real value comes from property price growth. In fact, predictions say that from 2022 onwards, Oxford's housing prices will jump by 26%, beating the expected 21% average growth in UK house prices from 2022 to 2032.

Best Property Investment in Oxford for Hong Kongers: The Stormont

The Stormont is an exclusive collection of eight new luxury residences situated in Oxford's sought-after Headington neighborhood. These homes are thoughtfully designed to blend modern aesthetics with the surrounding architectural style, featuring top-notch finishes, elegant fixtures, and contemporary kitchens equipped with fully integrated appliances.

This development boasts an ideal location, with convenient access to nearby parks and essential amenities. Additionally, it is surrounded by educational and employment hubs, including the proximity of the Oxford Brookes University main campus, Oxford University Old Road campus, and various primary and secondary schools. Residents at The Stormont can easily commute on foot, by car, or via a short bus ride connecting them to the city center and beyond.

For more information take a look at the development brochure here.

2. Investing in property in Edinburgh for Hong Kongers

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and is a popular investment destination for Hong Kong buyers. The city has a number of strengths that make it attractive to investors, including:

  • A strong economy: Edinburgh is a major economic hub, with a diverse range of industries. This provides a good foundation for rental demand and capital growth.
  • A thriving tourism industry: Edinburgh is a popular tourist destination, with over 4 million visitors each year. This provides a steady stream of demand for rental properties.
  • A strong student population: Edinburgh is home to several universities, including the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University. This provides a large pool of potential tenants.
  • An undersupplied housing market: The Edinburgh housing market is under considerable pressure, and it's expected to keep growing in both sales and rental sectors over the next five years. Sales prices are predicted to rise by 17.6% between 2023 and 2027, while rents are likely to increase by 16.4% during the same period.

Best Property Investment in Edinburgh for Hong Kongers: The Carrick

The Carrick is a new development in the southwest of Edinburgh, offering 27 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments spread across 5 floors. It's conveniently close to public transportation, providing easy access to the city's amenities.

The apartments are designed to be well-lit and spacious, featuring modern amenities. Many of them come with Juliette balconies, while the penthouse units include roomy terraces. The surrounding area offers golf courses, parks, and sports facilities for leisure and fitness activities.

To download the brochure, click here.

3. Investing in property in Manchester for Hong Kongers

Hong Kong investors are drawn to Manchester's property market due to its relative affordability compared to other major UK cities like London. The city offers stable rental income potential, strong capital growth prospects, and a growing job market, making it an attractive destination for real estate investment. Additionally, the presence of reputable universities and a diverse culture further contribute to its appeal for both students and professionals, driving demand for housing.

  • Cultural similarities: Manchester has a number of cultural similarities to Hong Kong, such as a strong Chinese community. This can make it an easier transition for Hong Kong buyers.
  • Affordability: Manchester property prices are more affordable than in London, making them a good option for investors looking to get a good return on their investment.
  • Upward property price growth: Manchester property prices are expected to grow at a faster rate than the national average in the coming years, making it a good investment for capital growth.

Best Property Investment in Manchester for Hong Kongers: The Bailey

The Bailey consists of 104 contemporary one- and two-bedroom apartments, nestled adjacent to St Georges Park and offering views of Deansgate to the northeast. Its proximity to Manchester Metropolitan University and The University of Manchester, just a mile away, makes it especially appealing to the large student population that drives Manchester's strong rental market, ensuring its anticipated popularity among tenants.

To download the brochure, click here.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the many investment opportunities available to BNO investors in 2023. It is important to do your own research and to choose investments that are right for your individual financial situation and risk tolerance. If you are thinking of investing in the UK and would like some professional advice, reach out to one of our experienced property experts here.

FAQs

To be eligible for the Hong Kong BNO visa, applicants must be:

  • You must be aged 18 or over.
  • You must have British National (Overseas) status.
  • You must be ordinarily resident in Hong Kong, the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
  • You must not have been sentenced to a prison term of 12 months or more in the last 10 years.
  • You must not be a security risk to the UK.

You can apply for the visa from within or outside the UK. If you are applying from outside the UK, you must have a valid passport and visa for the country you are currently in.

To apply for the Hong Kong BNO visa, you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to the UK government's website and create an account.
  2. Select the "Hong Kong BNO visa" application.
  3. Complete the online application form.
  4. Upload the required documents.
  5. Pay the application fee.
  6. Book an appointment at a visa application centre.
  7. Attend your appointment and give your biometrics (fingerprints and a photo).

The processing time for the Hong Kong BNO visa application is typically 6 months. However, it may take longer if your application is complex or if you need to provide additional information.

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