Non-UK residents to be charged higher stamp duty under Conservative plans
Chief secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak says evidence shows that 'purchases by non-residents inflate house prices'
Homebuyers who are not UK residents will be forced to pay a higher rate of stamp duty under a Conservative government, the party has announced.
The move is designed to stop foreign investors purchasing UK property and either leaving it empty or renting it out at inflated prices.
The party said a 2017 York University study showed that 13% of new London homes were bought by non-residents in 2014-16.
- Government hasn’t built any Starter Homes four years after flagship Cameron pledge
- Government’s Help to Buy scheme ‘benefiting homebuyers who don't need help’
- PAC: DCLG failed to consider alternatives before committing £10bn to Help to Buy scheme
Ministers say the trend reduces the supply of available housing stock, pushing up prices for those trying to get on the property ladder.
At the moment, the process that overseas buyers go through is exactly the same as that followed by British residents.
Under the Conservative plans, the rate of stamp duty paid by non-UK residents would be up to 3% higher than those living in this country.
Rishi Sunak, the chief secretary to the Treasury, said: "Evidence shows that by adding significant amounts of demand to limited housing supply, purchases by non-residents inflate house prices.
"That is why we are introducing a higher rate of stamp duty for non-UK residents that will help to address this issue and could raise up to £120m.
"Britain will always be open to people coming to live, work, and build a life in this great country. The steps we are taking will ensure that more people have the opportunity of a great place to live and build a family.
"Housebuilding is already at its highest level for 30 years, with over 240,000 homes delivered last year. A vote for the Conservatives will allow us to get on with implementing our ambitious domestic agenda."
The move comes a year after Theresa May announced similar proposals.
Speaking at the 2018 Conservative conference, the then-prime minister said: "Britain will always be open to people who want to live, work and build a life here.
"But it cannot be right that it is as easy for individuals who don’t live in the UK, as well as foreign based companies, to buy homes as hard working British residents.
"For too many people the dream of home ownership has become all too distant and the indignity of rough sleeping remains all too real."