International investment in London Land

5 August 2015, Blog

According to figures from the property services adviser, CBRE, buyers spent £1.8 billion on land for property development in central London in the second quarter of 2015, breaking the record set before the 2008 financial crisis in 2007. Nearly three quarters of buyers were backed by money outside the United Kingdom.

Cash from overseas continues to flood into London despite prices and yields for assets being back near pre-credit crunch levels. Transparency International estimates that one in ten residential properties in Westminster are owned by companies registered offshore. About half of the deals were for the development of land for commercial use, the other half being sold for the construction of homes.

Prime Minister David Cameron cited figures last week claiming that £122 billion worth of property in England and Wales is owned by offshore companies, saying “we need to stop corrupt officials or organised criminals using anonymous shell companies to invest their ill-gotten gains in London property, without being tracked down… There is no place for dirty money in Britain.” He further announced that he had asked the Land Registry to publish data on such properties. 

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