Higher taxes drive away overseas buy-to-let investors
The proportion of let properties owned by overseas landlords is at its lowest in almost a decade, according to latest data.
The dramatic decline in investment by overseas buyers is most extreme in London. There, according to national lettings agency Countrywide, foreign ownership of buy-to-lets has fallen from 26pc of all let properties in 2010 to just 11pc today.
In “prime” London – the central areas most popular among a global elite who tend to own property in a number of major cities – the decline has been from 31pc to 23pc.
The presence of overseas owners has also diminished nationally across the total let stock.
In 2010 12pc of all let property in Britain was owned by an overseas-based investor. Today that figure is 5pc, according to Countrywide.
One reason is the rapid growth in buy-to-let among British-based investors. This has outpaced growth in foreign buyers and diminished their overall share of the buy-to-let market.
But Countrywide says increased taxation is also deterring overseas buys.
Tax changes introduced in recent years include capital gains tax payable in Britain, higher rates of stamp duty on the purchase of property, and ongoing annual taxes levied on properties owned via overseas companies.
While the fall in the value of sterling following the EU referendum was expected to spark increased buying by overseas investors, some have been deterred by a fall in London prices and fears that sterling will depreciate further still.
Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide, said: “A steady increase in foreign investors’ tax bills combined with more recent falling expectations of price growth in London has led to a decline in foreign investment in buy-to-let.”
Changes to stamp duty – which have increased costs for all buy-to-let investors and also for owner-occupiers buying more expensive properties – have had a dramatic effect on transactions.
The number of sales – both buy-to-let and owner-occupier – is down 11pc across England and Wales in the year to end-May, according to LSL, another lettings and estate agency business. In London, where more properties attract higher rates of stamp duty, the fall in transactions is far higher at 23pc.
Where only buy-to-let transactions are taken into account, the fall in new purchases is even more extreme. This follows the introduction of the new “additional property” stamp duty surcharge applying from April 2016.
Source: Telegraph Property