Prime central London is no longer a top target for real estate investors from distant shores. The number of homes in prime central London purchased by international buyers fell sharply in the first half of 2018, according to data released Monday by Hamptons International.

Foreign buyers were responsible for two out of five real estate transactions, or 39% of deals. That figure is down from 47% of transactions in the same time last year and from 55% of transactions in the latter half of last year, the report from the U.K.-based estate agents said.

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Despite the overall fall, the presence of buyers from the European Union rose. They bought 15% of homes in prime central London in the first half of 2018, up from 10% in both halves of 2017, but below the peak of 23% logged in H1 2016.

No doubt, a favorable exchange rate is helping lure European buyers. A home that would have cost £1 million (US$1.28 million) in the first half of 2016 now costs £885,450 (US$1.14 million) due to the pound’s depreciation against the euro, the report said.

Russian buyers increased, too, as 2% more buyers bought homes in prime central London in the first half of the year compared to the last year. Like the euro, buyers paying with the Russian ruble are seeing homes cost 19% less than in the first six months of 2016 due to currency changes.  

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But across greater London as a whole, the proportion of homes bought by an international buyer in the first six months of 2018 rose to 35%, up from 33% during the same time last year, but unchanged from the second half of last year.

Australian and EU buyers drove the 2% year-on-year rise in the broader London market, the report said.