Published: 09:14, 24 November 2021
| Updated: 15:06, 24 November 2021
More than 20 homes on a new development have been reserved by prospective buyers from Hong Kong it has been revealed.
Housebuilder Dandara says 22 properties at its Knights Wood development in Tunbridge Wells - where prices start at £625,000 - have been earmarked for buyers from the special administrative region of China over the last month alone.
And that equates to a remarkable 80% of the housebuilder's sales during the period.
It comes after local estate agent Knight Frank reported an increase in sales in the area from Hong Kong buyers - and others from overseas - earlier in the year.
The British government introduced a special visa this year allowing Hong Kong citizens to move to the UK for five years. It came after China tightened its grip on Hong Kong which was under British rule for 156 years before it was handed over to China in 1997.
The move came after China introduced a new security law which allowed it to crackdown hard on protestors and reduce the city's autonomy. It led to unrest on the streets.
The government believes around up to as many as one million people will come to the UK over the coming years under the visa scheme.
And the result has seen a swell of interest in Tunbridge Wells which has already been seen as one of the areas cashing in on the rush of London buyers to move out of the capital into the Home Counties following the pandemic and the change in working habits - with many opting for a blend of office and home working.
Last year it was reported the town saw 2,801 sales - the highest number in five years, despite transactions being paused due to Covid for seven weeks.
And the rush hasn't slowed yet, with agent Hamptons reporting sales in the first quarter of 2021 up 146 compared to last year.
Louise Norman, associate sales and marketing director at Dandara, said: “We’ve seen interest from buyers in Hong Kong in the last few months in particular, who are primarily families looking for spacious homes with gardens.
"The allure of Tunbridge Wells is a prominent factor. The area really does offer the best of both worlds with easy access to London and the countryside.”