Latest News

Housing Minister signals the end to poor leasehold practices

15 October 2018

Yesterday, James Brokenshire announced Government plan to consult on improving the leasehold sector, and bring an end to poor leasehold practices for homebuyers once and for all. Read More...

Government moves a step closer to full regulation of the industry

12 October 2018

Housing Minister Heather Wheeler has announced today that a new working group will be set up, tasked with raising standards across the housing sector. Read More...

Foreign buyers to be hit with new stamp duty surcharge

Monday 01 October 2018

Yesterday, Theresa May unveiled plans for a new levy to be paid by those buying British homes from abroad, as part of a wider bid to tackle Britain’s housing crisis.

Kicking off the Tory party conference, the Prime Minister insisted it should not be "as easy" for foreign investors to pick off the UK’s housing stock as those who live and work there.

The new levy of up to three per cent - which will apply on top of existing rates - will be paid by individuals and companies not currently paying tax in the UK, with the cash raised going towards supporting the government's rough sleeping strategy.

Backing up the move, party aides pointed to research from York University, which estimated that 13 per cent of new London homes were bought by non-residents between 2014 and 2016. And a separate study by King’s College London apparently estimates a one percentage point increase in the volume of homes being sold to overseas companies put up house prices by 2.1 per cent.

An additional one per cent stamp duty surcharge is expected to raise £40 million a year – rising to £120 million, if a three per cent levy is introduced.

Existing surcharges buyers pay on second homes and buy-to-lets, are three per cent below £125,000, five per cent for properties ranging from £125,000 to £250,000, eight per cent on homes up to £925,000, 13 per cent up to £1.5 million, and 15 per cent on anything above £1.5 million.

Speaking to the conference, Mrs May said: “At Conservative conference last year, I said I would dedicate my premiership to restoring the British dream, that life should be better for each new generation, and that means fixing our broken housing market. Britain will always be open to people who want to live, work and build a life here.”

“However, it cannot be right that it is as easy for individuals who don’t live in the UK, as well as foreign-based companies, to buy homes as hardworking British residents. For too many people the dream of home ownership has become all too distant and the indignity of rough sleeping remains all too real. This government is committed to helping hardworking British residents get the right home for them and helping to end the scourge of rough sleeping for good.”

The exact stamp duty increase is yet to be confirmed, but is expected to be hashed out following a consultation later this year.