please empty your brain below

I too heard the 50% BBC figure last night - but Savills are saying that foreign investors actually own 70% of new-build in London.

Amazing, then, that there is currently no capital gains tax payable on the sale of foreign-owned additional homes / property bought for buy-to-let... until 2015 (and only then on gains made since it was announced in the recent Autumn Statement). That's a huge tax loss to the Treasury...
Sounds like the obvious parallel to draw is with Strata, aka the Philishave.

Plus points: architecturally very striking and (to me at least) quite a pleasing addition to the skyline due to its unique wind turbines. Gives the impression that this building is looking to the future, and must hence be located in a neighbourhood that is going places.

Minus points: that neighbourhood is actually Elephant & Castle, right on what is (coincidentally) another cyclist death trap of a roundabout. And those wind turbines are London’s equivalent of a chocolate teapot and the motorbike ash tray.
Charging capital gains tax on disposals of UK residential property by non UK residents from April 2015 is expected to raise about £125 million over the next 6 years. Hardly a huge tax loss. Frankly I doubt it is going to make much difference.

The currrent position is not really "amazing" - historically the UK has just chosen not to try to tax gains arising to non residents. The change does not apply to other UK assets, such as commercial property, or shares in UK companies.
"Charging capital gains tax on disposals of UK residential property by non UK residents from April 2015 is expected to raise about £125 million over the next 6 years."

I heard that figure too - and immediately thought beyond it.

If CGT was applied retrospectively, the figure would be very different.

And, one needs to look at the disposals figure going forward - not just for the next 6 years (most foreign property speculators will be looking longer-term as buying and selling new-build immediately isn't lucrative due to the premium payable for intiial ownership.

Plus, it may 'only' be £125M now, but if foreign investors are buying an increasing amount of our residnetial property, it's going to be much more in future.
Plus, if you look at the most recent Private Eye, the reason the £125m figure is so small is due to it being only due on the increase in the property value from April 2015 - expected to be a high point.

Mr Osbourne pretending to look popular to us lot but still pandering to his mates I'm afraid!
Interesting location, but as you say many are unlikely to spend much time there, if at all, and there is always insatiable rental demand in London which I am sure is a key reason they have bought.

The BBC video even gave a solution to the problem: follow HK in having a 22% tax on property for foreign buyers. That would have a huge effect on levels of speculation in London and cool off the market.

I honestly don't think that the government want introduce such a tax though. There's a lot of business and cash being generated off the back of this, and they'd rather encourage that than make it possible for under 30s (or maybe even 40s now!) to buy a home.
"A 26 storey tower of student accommodation is about to appear on the site of the former Esso petrol station."

WHAT? Another one? There's already a ridiculously large carbunkle gone up next to John Lewis with hundreds of student beds.

What do the planners think they are doing allowing this. Stratford will be crawling with herberts who will have no care or interest in the local area. Stupid. It should be rejected like the other student tower was in the Broadway.
Remember cycling past here on my way home from Poplar. I hope that they removed the asbestos cement roofing carefully from the old carpet place.
1001 student bedrooms in the carbunkle next to John Lewis and another 430 in this 26 storey abomination.

That's 1431 students to decend on Stratford who won't give a dam about it and I bet these money grabbing developers haven't finished yet.

I've lived in Stratford all my life, I'm sorry but the so called legacy of the Olympics is ruining the local community.

Rant over - for now!
1431 students should be good for the local pubs and shops ... if the pub owners bother to take advantage and make them an appealing place to go to, instead of popping on the tube to somewhere nicer.

Yes but I'm more concerned with 1431 students and Anti Social Behaviour. Go to any student town on a Saturday night and sample the delights.
I was in Singapore in Feb this year and it is alarming to see so many adverts for London developments in the Straits Times.

I wonder if there will be a property crash and these monster developments will languish and decay in an unmaintained state? That unattractive, big brown band around the towers looks like Masking Tape. Doesn't look like a design that will improve with age.
That seems a bit of a red herring, Agent Z. When I was a student we hardly ever went out on a Saturday night - full-price drinks/entry, and the city centre was swarming with drunk townie types - 9-5 office workers living for the weekend. Far better if you're a student to go out on student nights in the week. This wasn't in London, though - I don't have experience of how weekend-oriented the capital is for students. I'd be surprised if it was hugely different, though.

Similarly, my home city arguably has quite a problem with anti-social/drunken behaviour on Saturday nights - but it's not students who cause it, it's the same live-for-the-weekend workers who save up their alcohol consumption in the week for a Saturday-night binge.
Depressing. I simply cannot understand why councils (especially Newham and LBTH) are agreeing to these developers who target the far east market. London is in desperate need of homes for the people who live here. I expect this sort of laissez-faire attitute from Boris - but cannot understand why LBTH and Newham are going along with it.
Well it's a two edged sword at the moment. For some reason foreigners buying assets in London is a bad thing, but considering that business lending is still down 40% development finance is hard to come by. Without all these off plan sales a lot of these blocks would not be getting built.

Also while it maybe 50 to 70% of new builds in inner London going to foreigners. New build actually makes up a tiny percentage of total house sales in London. Asian investors only like buying new properties (old houses are dirty cramped and lack proper facilities in their countries).

As to students, it's better they are in Student blocks rather than renting in private houses.

The council wants to attract an additional university to Stratford. What do they think is going happen? Have several thousand students study in town, but none of them to live there?
I wouldn't worry about 1431 students, there are large areas of London and indeed the UK where hundreds of thousands, or several million people have descended who don't give a damn about the place or what it looks like, and have turned the place into an ugly slum.
"Doesn't look like a design that will improve with age." Well the people who buy the property won't care about that. There is a large block near me owned by foreign investors and all the downcomers are cracked and leaking, spraying all over the walls. They have been like that for three years. It won't do the property much good but the rents are still coming in. Foreign ownership seems like a recipe for neglect.
Quick nod to london's original skyscraper cluster: Croydon. Still looks good . . . from a distance!

It's not Newham or Tower Hamlets in control is it. It's this quango the London Legacy Developement Corporation. (LLDC).

A load of fly by nights who will not have to answer for these stupid developments when in a few years time they are slums. They will be long gone and Newham will be left to pick up the pieces.

Any backhanders I wonder?
As a Londoner who rents, I would never, ever rent a home if the landlord lived abroad, even if it was through an agent in London. I've met far too many people who've got into situations where repair work need doing but the landlord was nowhere to be seen and nobody could get in touch with them. It's almost impossible to serve a legal notice on a landlord who lives abroad. So, to all those foreign investors, good luck finding some quality tenants who are actually going to take care of the place.

Also I agree with what someone else said above: it's mainly new builds they're investing in. I very much doubt if the majority of real Londoners want to live in newly-built properties. Those of us who grew up in the surburbs tend to prefer places with character and atmosphere. I really don't like these identikit blocks of flats going up everywhere.
...and what of "affordable" housing? ...all i see is 'luxury' this, 'exclusive' that and 'prestige' the other.
Agent - you wont see students out on a Saturday! Most expensive night of the week - its locals who are out on the weekend.

Many London students are a different demographic to other cities. Many foreign students from Asia and less white middle classes who are more likely to be drinking.

Students often bring in better nightlife, pubs, shops etc so its a good thing.
Islanddweller - Councils have very little power in this. If they refused it goes to appeal and they lose as the law is against them and it costs them.

rationalplan - the fact they only get built with foreign buyers shows that prices are way too high for domestic buyers. Land and selling prices were up 10% plus per annum for over 10 years and now many are only affordable abroad. It shows land and selling prices need to crash. Then we start afresh with more entrants to the market and less cash needed to build, less to buy and less indebted buyers and banks with bad loans.
Agent z - there were plenty of students living in pre-Olympics Stratford; for example, the two tower blocks for students on Clays Lane.
It is probably the shape of things to come.

I hear rumours about Far Eastern developers looking at parts of London and mentioning how the density is too low.

There is a risk that sites still open for development (Old Oak? North Greenwich?) may have Far Eastern higher densities without it being explined to them that we tried that in the 60's and 70's and don't want to make the same mistake again.

It may also be interesting to find out how much money the Developers pay towards transport improvements for the impact of extra residents or whether they are assuming that the current transport provision is sufficient and Crossrail will take up any slack.
The link to the paragraph's worth of statement is broken. Not that I'm complaining.

While I'm at it, I should probably mention the "Ornance Survey" caption of a couple of days ago. Yeah, yeah, I've been busy.

The problem with all these developments is not that they are going to foreign buyers per se, more that they are going to buyers who have no intention of using the property for its intended purpose. Purchase of residential property for investment should be outlawed or at the very least heavily taxed. It's almost impossible for a Londoner to buy a house in London nowadays because the market is so crazy, and the market is being driven almost single-handedly by wealthy foreign investors who have least need of any property in the first place, let alone one in London.

Interestingly, this has a direct connection to the large housing benefit bill which the loony right likes to moan about. Housing benefit goes to private landlords who charge exorbitant rents, and with the bill being underwritten by the government, it's basically a licence for them to print money. Unfortunately, there's nowhere affordable for people to live, or at the very least several times less of it than demand, so the only alternative is directly subsidising the fat cats.

(Oh, if only there was some sort of readily-available stock of housing owned by the council in which those of limited means could have a roof over their head instead of having to resort to expensive private renting. We could call them "council houses".)

Remove housing benefit and the only alternative is social cleansing - shipping the poor of the borough off to cheaper locations at the other end of the country. This is now happening all over London, nowhere more so than in Tower Hamlets and Newham.

Bring on the next crash, I say. And let's do it properly this time.
Swirlythingy - 'social cleansing' is a very loaded term for something that has happened in the past with what would appear to have been some success. After all London's population is still lower today than it was before the war thanks to the subsequent re-location of many Londoners to the New Towns then being developed.
Stoke-on-Trent is hardly Stevenage, though. Although I doubt even the New Towns would be practical as a relocation now that commuting is so expensive.

And many of those places are cheap for a reason - no jobs!

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