London house prices and foreign buyers – again!


According to the Guardian.

A Russian billionaire whose business partner is a close ally of Vladimir Putin, the former chairman of a defunct Nigerian bank and a Kyrgyz vodka tycoon appear to be among more than 130 foreign buyers in Britain’s tallest residential skyscraper.

Almost two-thirds of homes in the Tower, a 50-storey apartment complex in London, are in foreign ownership, with a quarter held through secretive offshore companies based in tax havens, a Guardian investigation has revealed.
‘Tower for the toffs’: UK’s tallest skyscraper and playground of the rich
Read more

The first residents of the landmark development arrived in October 2013, but many of the homes are barely occupied, with some residents saying they only use them for a fraction of the year.

The revelations about the Tower are likely to be seized on by campaigners and politicians as the starkest example yet of the housing crisis gripping the capital, in which too many new homes are sold abroad as investments and left largely empty while fewer and fewer young people can afford to buy or even rent in the city.

The five-storey £51m penthouse with views across to the Thames to the Palace of Westminster is ultimately owned by the family of former Russian senator Andrei Guriev, a well-placed source has told the Guardian. His family already owns Witanhurst in Highgate, north London, the biggest mansion in London after Buckingham Palace.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/may/24/revealed-foreign-buyers-own-two-thirds-of-tower-st-george-wharf-london

Another news story about the impact of foreign buyers on house prices and usage. But its time for policy makers to take action by halting this type of ownership instead of repeating the mantra ‘We must build more houses’!

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