A recent Freedom of Information request submitted to the Land Registry by lettings agency Benham and Reeves has revealed an increase in the number of homes in England and Wales owned by foreign entities.
According to the response, foreign homeowners account for 67 percent of the 280,021 properties registered in their name, with companies owning the remaining 33 percent. In the last year, the level of overseas ownership has increased by 3.2 percent, with the Northwest, West Midlands and London witnessing the largest increases.
London has the most properties registered to foreign owners, with 104,239 or 36.9 percent of all foreign-owned homes in England and Wales located there. The Southeast follows close behind with 47,862. At the local authority level, Dacorum saw the biggest jump in foreign ownership at 18.8 percent, followed by Tameside, Salford, Tower Hamlets, Slough, Manchester, Halton, South Hams, Sevenoaks, and Maldon.
Westminster, Tower Hamlets, and Kensington and Chelsea have the highest volume of foreign-owned homes, respectively. Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham, and Reeves, commented on the findings: “Foreign homebuyers are once again expressing interest in the property markets of England and Wales, and we’ve seen a consistent increase in demand over the last year.”
London is still the destination of choice, but activity is also spreading to other areas. This diversity is welcome at a time when the domestic market is cooling, helping to keep house prices stable and avoiding a potential market downturn.” He added that many overseas buyers are currently renting before committing to a purchase, to find the right neighbourhood to meet their needs.