Mayor launches in­quiry into for­eign prop­erty deals

Lon­don­ers need re­as­sur­ance over ‘dirty money’

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - by Amita Joshi amita.joshi@trin­i­tymir­

SADIQ Khan is set to launch the coun­try’s big­gest in­quiry into for­eign prop­erty own­er­ship as a grow­ing num­ber of Lon­don­ers fear be­ing priced out of the Cap­i­tal.

The Lon­don Mayor said there is a need for trans­parency as more peo­ple are be­com­ing con­cerned prop­er­ties are be­ing snapped up by for­eign own­ers.

He said: “As more and more Lon­don­ers strug­gle to get on the prop­erty ladder, there are real con­cerns about the prospect of a surge in the num­ber of homes be­ing bought by over­seas in­vestors. It’s clear we need to bet­ter un­der­stand the dif­fer­ent roles that over­seas money plays in Lon­don’s hous­ing mar­ket, the scale of what’s go­ing on, and what ac­tion we can take to sup­port de­vel­op­ment and help Lon­don­ers find a home.”

The Labour Mayor added: “Lon­don­ers need re­as­sur­ing that dirty money isn’t flood­ing into our prop­erty mar­ket and min­is­ters must now make all prop­erty own­er­ship in Lon­don trans­par­ent so we can see ex­actly who owns what.”

The in­quiry will fo­cus on the scale and im­pact of dif­fer­ent types of over­seas in­vest­ment in Lon­don, as well as ex­am­ine how for­eign cash has changed the mar­ket.

A key part of the re­search will in­clude find­ing out who is in­vest­ing and where the money comes from.

The news has not been wel­comed by all those in the sec­tor how­ever, with Sav­ills’ world re­search depart­ment claim­ing that

Min­is­ters must now make all prop­erty own­er­ship in Lon­don trans­par­ent”

for­eign in­vest­ment helped the mar­ket dur­ing an eco­nomic down­turn.

The es­tate agent: “For­eign buy­ers are of­ten the fo­cus in dis­cus­sions about the hous­ing cri­sis, but re­ally they are only one el­e­ment in an in­cred­i­bly com­pli­cated pic­ture. With­out them in­vest­ing in prop­er­ties at the top end, we would not have been able to fund very much so­cial or af­ford­able hous­ing since the fi­nan­cial crash.”

How­ever re­search by Gold­smiths Univer­sity says the in­flux of for­eign in­vest­ment has led to the “gen­tri­fi­ca­tion of the city”.

Mr Khan’s an­nounce­ment comes only a short time after a new Homes for Lon­don­ers team was set up by City Hall to in­ves­ti­gate and over­see the build­ing of more af­ford­able hous­ing.

n IN­VES­TI­GA­TION: Lon­don Mayor Sadiq Khan will be look­ing at for­eign prop­erty in­vest­ment

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