London mayor Boris Johnson has appealed to developers to start selling homes in new buildings to those who are from the UK before selling to overseas investors. London sees more foreign investors than any other European city in both residential and commercial terms, but Mr Johnson wants to see better access to properties for those who are in the UK and are going to make use of new stock rather than leaving it empty.
These two issues are among the many that Londoners are looking to see addressed in the Budget announcement, according to a survey carried out by Nutmeg. The firm's respondents outlined that two of the changes they would like to see the chancellor action in the property sector include taxing foreign investors more to help boost the economy through property sales, as well as a new tax for empty homes that would incentivise people to use the properties they have purchased.
At the annual MIPIM property conference in Cannes, France, Mr Johnson also added that he wants to see building work in the capital doubled over the next few years. He said that he wants to see developers and institutional developers around the capital help him achieve this goal with funds that would help with regeneration of certain areas, turning them into popular student properties or buy-to-let opportunities.
"New housing developments are a vital part of the infrastructure of a living and dynamic city. London is a global city and therefore will inevitably have an international element to its market. I do not in any way want to deter international investment, you can see astonishing transformation in London thanks to international investment, and I recognize the important economic contributions migrants make to our city," Mr Johnson added.
Baroness Jo Valentine, chief executive of London First, backed the mayor, saying: "Overseas buyers are an important part of the London property market and many purchase off plan, playing a critical role in helping house builder's funds the early stages of development."
- Tuesday 18 March 2014