A Cable News Network (CNN) report has revealed that citizens from Nigeria, Ghana, Congo, Gabon, Cameroon and Senegal have splashed a collective amount of N180 billion ($900 million) on homes alone.
According to the report, Nigerians spent the most cash on bricks and mortar in the British capital; between $22 and $37 million on securing a property.
Also, research by luxury property agents, Beauchamp Estates, showed that over the past three years Africans had spent over $900 million on luxury residential property in London. A Director at Beauchamp Estates, Mr. Gary Hersham, said: “Virtually all the transactions are for end use, not rental investment, which indicates that the African buyer market in London had significant room for growth. “African buyers or luxury tenants in London are currently where the Russians and Ukrainians were five years ago.
They have the resources and desire to purchase or rent luxury homes in Prime Central London. It is going to be the African century.” A British-Nigerian wealth manager based in London, Bimpe Nkontchou, explained that Mayfair, Kensington and Chelsea had long been the stomping ground of the elite and new African investors. She said: “The Africans who are coming into London now are Africans who themselves have worked for their money.
“They have grown in industry and are actually part of the exciting story of the African renaissance. It’s bringing to London the best of the continent. “These investors are having a considerable impact on London’s property market and they mainly come from just six countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Congo, Gabon, Cameroon and Senegal.
“The new international African is very well-traveled. Educated in the United States, United Kingdom and different parts of Europe their taste is definitely more modern and clean. “For evidence that London still attracts high-end buyers, look no further than the sale of a penthouse in Mayfair which fetched $40 million earlier this year.”
Nigerian Embassy in London estimated that Nigerians now spend over $446 million per year on fees, tutoring and accommodation at British schools and university.
It was also learnt that Harrow, Eton, Cheltenham Ladies College are all among the list of respected institutions that teach the offspring of wealthy Nigerians and their African counterparts.
Nkontchou added: “West African clients are very much driven by the need to educate their children. Education usually means putting the children on an international stage, and that’s one reason why this is feeding into the demand for property in London.” Echoing him, education industry experts, ICEF Monitor said thet there were over 17,500 Nigerians studying in British universities in 2012, about 1,000 over the 2009/10 academic session