According to the 2011 Census, there were 98,724 Hong Kong-born residents in England, 3,517 in Wales, 7,586 in Scotland and 1,906 in Northern Ireland. These numbers have been increasing year-on-year and it seems that 2021 will be a record year in terms of Hong Kongers migrating into the UK.
With up to 3 million Hong Kong citizens being offered the right to settle in the UK, it is estimated up to a third of them will migrate to the UK. Since January 2021, anyone with a British National (Overseas) (“BNO”) passport and their dependents has been able to apply online for a visa allowing them to live and work in the UK. This mechanism also allows them to apply for UK citizenship after five years.
But who are these people, what are their priorities when moving and what kind of neighbourhood are they looking for? Houzen surveyed more than 400 Hongkongers and asked them about their aspirations and preferences for their upcoming emigration. The below illustrates what they found.
“This will be a hugely diverse group of people relocating from Hong Kong. I’m finding it quite amusing that most articles about Hongkongers showcase business people in suits with an iPhone in their hand. Nearly a million Hong Kong people will move to the UK over the next 10 years – we are talking about the size of the population comparable to Newcastle. It is not incorrect to assume a significant amount of those moving over to the UK will be upper-middle-class business and finance people, however, a big portion of these Hong Kong migrants will require a certain level of social support.” – Benjamin Lee, Investment Director from houzen comments. Lee, being a Hongkonger himself, aims to ease the relocation burden to his friends and clients at houzen.
“I’m expecting 2021 and 2022 to showcase a steep growth in the number of UK properties to be acquired by Hongkongers. According to the houzen survey, 45% of Hongkongers are planning to purchase a property to live in. 35% stated they are interested in renting long-term” – Lee reveals.
There will eventually be a strong need for cultural education – Hongkongers are looking forward to having Brits as their neighbours, however, 24% have never visited the UK, and 28% only visited as a tourist.
What about the environment they prefer to live in? With plenty of tempting locations in the UK to choose from, the winner among Hongkongers seems to be a smaller suburban town with 45 min commute to the city (32%) for example, Reading, Guildford and St Albans, followed by a large international city like London (28%).
houzen is an online trading platform for “highly rentable homes”. It allows users to buy properties exceptionally fast – 98% of the property buying process is done online, using automation and AI, boosting the speed of the process. houzen takes care of the end to end property lifecycle: recommends properties, generates reports, offers live video viewings and assistance with mortgage and admin of the buying process, all the way to selling it.
In 2021 houzen released a new set of services, dedicated to Hongkongers relocating to the UK – offering a full package helping in finding a property, viewing it online and securing all the paperwork and mortgage with ease.
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