Dozens of British residential development schemes are launched in Hong Kong before being offered to buyers in Britain. Estate agency Knight Frank has sold 450 homes to Hong Kong buyers at 10 housing schemes so far this year, and plans eight more exhibitions in the autumn. Rival estate agency Savills is launching 13 British projects in Hong Kong this year. Other agents and developers have launched British schemes, too. Gary Patrick, the London sales director of developer Barratt Homes, said his firm exhibited properties in Hong Kong before Britain, because of strong demand from investors. '[Hong Kong] investors now come to us and ask what we have for sale, not the other way round. Currently, around 25 per cent of all new homes we build in London are being sold in Hong Kong, Singapore and China,' Patrick said. Developer St James took 11 reservations from Hong Kong buyers at the launch of its London project, Silvermill, this summer, and is bringing Manhattan Apartments, another London scheme, to Hong Kong in September. Launching a development in Hong Kong gives buyers an advantage over their British counterparts, Paul Bennett, sales and marketing director at St James, said. 'I would say that prices generally are around about the same, but the Hong Kong market gets the pick of the premium plots and the first opportunities,' he said. Liam Bailey, head of residential research at Knight Frank, said a lack of mortgage funding stopped Britons from buying at new developments. 'The UK prospective buyer from five years ago is now more likely to be a prospective tenant, because they can't get access to the mortgage market. So, who has the equity available to become a purchaser and ultimately to rent to UK occupiers? Increasingly, it is Asian investors.' Many Hong Kong buyers pay in cash. Half of Barratt's Hong Kong clients and 70 per cent of St James' clients are cash-buyers. James Talbot, international sales director at Savills, said off-plan sales in Britain had died since the credit crunch. 'Off-plan sales had primarily been to [British] buy-to-let investors who tried to flip them before completion,' Talbot said. 'But buy-to-let investors can't get mortgages any more, so they are not in the market.' Russell Hunt, managing director of London buyers' agency Property Hunt, said strong pressure was placed on Hong Kong buyers to purchase at exhibitions. 'My advice is don't jump into things,' Hunt said. 'Don't buy on the night when you have gone to see the presentation, but do some research, get someone on the ground to advise you.'