Foreign investment in London’s housing market

Wednesday 8 June 2016, all day

Motion detail

“This Assembly notes that London’s property market continues to act as a magnet for overseas investment, which is believed to be contributing to the capital’s housing crisis in terms of both affordability and availability. This is exemplified by a recent Guardian investigation, which revealed that almost two-thirds of homes in the Tower, a 50-storey residential development in Vauxhall, are in foreign ownership, many of which are believed to be empty and unoccupied.[1] One quarter of these are also held through opaque offshore companies, raising serious questions about where the money for the purchase of these properties has come from.1


This Assembly notes the Mayor of London’s recent statement that “too many [homes] are sold off-plan to overseas investors, only to sit empty”,[2] with a growing number of investors using homes in the capital simply as “gold bricks for investment”.[3]


This Assembly shares the concerns expressed by the Mayor of London, but recognises that the true extent, nature, and impact of foreign investment in London’s housing market is not yet fully understood.


This Assembly believes the Mayor has a duty to fully investigate and report upon overseas investment in London’s housing market as he seeks to update the capital’s housing policies, to ensure that homes remain affordable for local people to buy and rent.


This Assembly therefore calls on the Mayor to examine the extent to which properties owned by overseas investors are kept empty or unused; and to commission research into the effects of overseas investment on the price, affordability and supply of homes across London as a matter of urgency.”


[1] Guardian, 24 May 2016, ‘The London skyscraper that is a stark symbol of the housing crisis’.

[2] Sadiq Khan, ‘A Manifesto for all Londoners’, page 9.

[3] Mayor of London speaking at Mayor’s question Time on 25 May 2016.