Non-Residents Get a Good Deal in the UK

Carol Lewis in the Times reports that non-UK residents get a great deal on British property and she says it’s no wonder that wealthy foreign investors buy here.

Analysis by Knight Frank of the costs to non-UK residents of buying and living in a newly-built property worth £2m, in 15 prime locations, shows that while London has the third most expensive purchase costs, it benefits from low annual costs.

The purchase costs, which include stamp duty, legal costs, transfer fees and agency fees, represent 7.8% ($235,350 or £155,320) of the cost of buying a £2m property in London.

This compares favourably with Hong Kong, where non-resident buyers pay 25% of the purchase price or $750,000, and Singapore, where they pay 19.3%, or $579,000.

Liam Bailey, head of residential research at Knight Frank, says: “Despite its position near the top of our ranking, London’s luxury homes remain popular with international investors who are attracted by the city’s lack of restrictions on foreign ownership, the UK’s political stability, good communications and top schools. Our research shows that 73% of prime Central London’s new-build homes in 2012 were bought by foreigners, with Singaporeans up front.”

Source: The Times

We say: Yeah, but no, but yeah, but…. You forgot to factor in the widely proclaimed “Mansion Tax” that’s soon to hit the UK property scene in a big way.

We think a more interesting angle for the piece would have been: this is what the UK property market has experienced over the last year, but we predict a shift in the paradigm following the abolition of non-residency exemption for Capital Gains Tax, and the introduction of the annual expensive residential property tax. (For more info see: Mansion Tax – changes affecting expensive residential properties).



Sam Inkersole

In 2022, Sam won the Taxation’s Rising Star award at the Taxation Awards in and was named in the Accountancy Age 35 Under 35.

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