British property investors concerned by Brexit effect

A new survey reveals that British property investors are concerned that Brexit will deter overseas investors from buying homes in the UK.

The survey, commissioned by Butterfield Mortgages (BML), found that more than half of the British property investors questioned said they were concerned about a decline in transactions from foreign buyers, which in turn would weaken the market.

Over 80 per cent of respondents believe that overseas buyers play a vital role in maintaining competition in the market, while almost 60 per cent said foreign investment was important for the wider UK economy.

“As the UK heads towards the Brexit deadline, the country’s ability to attract international investment is going to be hugely important,” said BML chief executive Alpa Bhakta. “This new research highlights how many property investors are concerned that we may, in fact, be pushing away overseas buyers and in turn damaging our own real estate market.”

However, while British property investors do recognise the importance overseas buyers have in keeping the market strong, many would still like to see more controls put in place to make the system fairer.

Two-thirds of British investors said they want an increase in stamp duty payable by foreign buyers – in line with government proposals to introduce a one per cent surcharge for property purchases made by non-UK residents.

In addition, almost 60 per cent were in favour of introducing a cap on the number of properties a foreign investor could purchase.

“It is clear that controls must be put in place to protect the interests of domestic buyers, whether that is a stamp duty surcharge or property cap for overseas buyers,” said Bhakta.

Article published 8th October 2019