Theresa May has announced that overseas buyers and companies not tax resident in the UK will face an increased Stamp Duty bill when buying property in the UK.
The measure will affect London most heavily. Within the capital a third of homes are sold to foreigners and almost half in prime central London according to Hamptons, while those looking for homes near London’s top private schools alone have snapped up 2,162 properties worth £2 billion over the past 12 months, according to research by Knight Frank.
The Prime Minister’s announcement was her key reveal on the first day of the Conservative Party conference at Birmingham’s NEC yesterday which she said would raise an additional £120 million in revenue.
She also claimed that the current arrangement where those who don’t live in the UK can buy property without living here or paying tax other than Stamp Duty and capital gains tax, was driving up house prices and making homes less affordable for ordinary people.
“Britain will always be open to people coming here to live, work and build a life,” she says.
“Our plan for more homes will help them have the opportunity of a great place to live and raise a family.”
No details of how much extra Stamp Duty foreign individuals and companies will pay has been revealed, but it’s not good news for the dozens of estate agents and developers who market UK property directly at overseas investors and high net worth individuals in countries such as China, Singapore and Dubai.
The Prime Minister’s statement is part of a regulation and tax noose that has been tightening for some time.
In January it was announced that a national register of foreign companies which own or buy property in the UK was to be kept, while three years ago the law was changed to prevent non-domiciled residents in the UK avoiding paying tax on UK homes by holding them via offshore companies, including inheritance tax.