Oh how we hate this selling of new homes in London to “buy to leave empty” investors overseas. This is a plea to the Mayor of London to do something about it.
Surely it should be seen as nothing short of an outrage? In the same week when a report shows that renting a home in London takes up an average of 70% of a renter’s pay this should be seen as nothing short of an outrage. I bleedin’ well hate these simultaneous launches in Hong Kong and London and the scale of the “buy to leave empty” scenario that results. Is there anything more urgent to address in London right now than the affordable housing both to rent and buy? I am going to vote for the mayoral candidate who looks like they are going to wade in and be radical.
I don’t need to say much in this blog…these extracts from the articles say it all:
“Developer Galliard said the off-plan sales were made at two events – one in London and one in Hong Kong – and half the properties sold went to overseas buyers, still keen for a stake in the UK market.”
“Galliard said that some of these overseas purchasers were parents buying for their children when they come to study in London, while others bought flats as pied-a-terres and others for investment purposes.”
“Chinese buyers are turning to overseas property as a safe haven for their money following a slump in the country’s stock market, and 50 properties were snapped up in Hong Kong. In London 158 were taken by a broad range of purchasers. There were a number of Greek buyers, as well as other European investors and buyers from India and the far east”
“According to the Land Registry the average London home now costs £476,000 and accountants KPMG recently said first-time buyers needed to earn £77,000 to get on the housing ladder in London. Three months ago the housing charity Shelter identified just 43 family houses in Greater London that were classed as affordable.”
“Galliard said some sales were made to parents buying for their student children and that a number of overseas buyers had bought more than one apartment.”
“Tracy Kellett, a buying agent for wealthy clients, said new-build homes remained particularly appealing to overseas buyers, who rarely come to view before they buy.
“Property expert Henry Pryor said developers were selling homes to overseas buyers in order to finance the completion of the buildings being sold. “To do this developers will pre-sell some properties, but these can only be bought by people who don’t need a mortgage – a mortgage offer only has a six-month shelf life,” he said.
“The biggest market of cash buyers for these kinds of properties are overseas, so this is where the developers, agents and lawyers go booking hotel lobbies in foreign capitals and selling what is really a sterling currency option dressed up in bricks and mortar.”
All in all this makes miserable reading.