Overseas investors own a small percentage of London property and their impact on the overall market is negligible. As a capital city, we naturally rely on overseas money for investment and innovation; it's wrong to blame the shortage of housing on foreign investors.
London is quite sparsely populated compared with most capital cities, so there is tremendous potential to increase housing supply. In our view, the government should be concentrating on reducing red tape and promoting housebuilding.
Many Londoners take it as read that the high cost of housing in the capital is the fault of wealthy foreigners. Mayor Sadiq Khan himself has cheerfully cranked out those crowd-pleasing lines about luxury housing units being stacked up like gold bricks. How interesting, then, to report that his recently announced inquiry into the impact of foreign property investment in London recognises that reality might not bear out the rhetoric. A considerable amount of London’s new “affordable” homes aimed at people on low and middle incomes are built as a condition of permission being granted for large, foreigner-financed housing schemes to go ahead. The fact remains that with no “rich foreign investors” sinking spare millions into future bricks and mortar, “affordable” supply in London, notably in expensive neighbourhoods, would be even more inadequate than it is.