Bloomberg News

London Assembly Votes in Favor of Foreign Property-Investor Tax

December 04, 2013

The London Assembly passed a motion welcoming a possible move by the government to bring in capital-gains tax on foreign investors selling a home in the city.

The motion was passed yesterday with 13 votes in favor and 6 against, according to an e-mailed statement by the 25-member assembly, whose main function is to hold the capital’s mayor to account.

“Londoners’ right to own a decent home must be put before speculative investors in London’s property market,” assembly member Tom Copley from the Labour Party, in opposition nationally, said in the statement. “London property is becoming a global reserve currency for people to keep their money and to make money out of London property.”

Prices for luxury homes have soared in recent years as the debt crisis in the euro region and uprisings across North Africa have made London property a haven for international investors. The government’s Help to Buy program has also fueled concerns about a potential bubble. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney took steps to damp a house-price boom last week by ending incentives for mortgage lending in the bank’s Funding for Lending Scheme.

Sky News television reported a month ago that the government is considering extending capital-gains tax to foreign investors. Treasury minister Sajid Javid indicated last month an announcement was likely when Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne makes his Autumn Statement to Parliament today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Svenja O’Donnell in London at sodonnell@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net


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