Housing: Sales

Department for Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 17th November 2015.

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Photo of Rupa Huq Rupa Huq Labour, Ealing Central and Acton

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to allow local councils to ban overseas and off-plan sales.

Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis Minister of State (Communities and Local Government)

We have actively encouraged the property industry to ensure that homes for sale are marketed in the United Kingdom, and not solely overseas.

The Coalition Government took action to tackle tax avoidance and ensure that those individuals who ‘envelope’ UK residential properties, by owning or purchasing them through corporate structures without a commercial purpose, pay a fair share of tax. We also introduced capital gains tax on future gains made by non-residents disposing of UK residential property.

The Mayor of London has launched a Mayoral Concordat where signatories commit to marketing new homes on every development to Londoners before, or at the same time as, they are available to overseas buyers.

But overseas investment in new housing can be crucial in providing the finance that is needed to build new homes. Non residents purchasing and occupying a house in the UK contribute to the tax system, just as residents do, through stamp duty, land tax and council tax.

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