foreign buyers snap up homes


New homes in London being purchased by foreign investors

Further concern was raised today over the number of newly built homes that are being snapped up by foreign buyers. According to official figures nearly 25% of all properties that are under construction are being carried out by foreign companies and most of those flats and houses are being sold to foreign buyers with very little chance of Londoners getting an opportunity to buy these properties. Most of the properties being built are flats and most of them will be sold at international property seminars and similar gatherings. Most of the new sites are being snapped up by investors from Hong Kong, China and Malaysia.

Not all of these homes will be occupied but will instead be left empty as long as house prices keep moving upwards. This is itself has been criticized by local councils who are very unhappy that flats are being left empty whilst people are homeless or living in hostels because of the lack of properties available to rent. Some councils such as Islington have taken drastic action and are forcing landlords to let these properties or face a stiff penalty. In some cases some landlords could even face jail if they ignore warnings and fines issued by the courts.

Of course this should be welcomed as these new sites will bring new jobs and well needed housing. The complaints coming from some parts of the media is that not enough is being done to build enough new homes for working people. Most of the new homes will not be coming onto the market for less that £800,000 because house prices in London are now at levels never seen before. It also has to be said that the few properties will bring improved infrarastructure as well as new schools and hospitals. Some concern is also being voiced that most of the homes being built in London are no longer affordable for low paid workers or working families on average incomes.

Most nurses, policeman or civil servants will not be able to spend £750K on a flat so who will be running the local services? None of this is really the fault of the developers who are now operating in a global market because London is a Global City. You could say that this is capitalism and that the market will decide what is a fair price for a flat and that is that. They are providing valuable affordable housing on some of their sites or they are funding some housing to be built on another site.