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SG Overseas buyer ban will damage UK

Property Here - Saturday, June 15, 2013

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By Andrew Batt:

Singapore real estate agents selling London property investments have reacted strongly to yesterday’s call by a UK MP to ban overseas buyers in the UK capital.

Hundreds of London properties have been sold to Singapore buyers this year alone, and in 2012 locals here were the largest overseas buyers of new-build properties in London.

UK Member of Parliament Simon Hughes issued the call on the back of increasing anti-foreign sentiment in some parts of the UK Capital. Overseas property buyers have been blamed by some for driving up property prices out of the reach of locals.

Doris Tan, Head of International Services for Jones Lang LaSalle, told PropertyGuru: “London is the most cosmopolitan city the world and because of its diversity and transparency in the legal system foreigners are keen to own a piece of its real estate.”  

Tan, who has been selling London property in Singapore for more than 10 years, added: “If the government steps in and start introducing cooling measures like Asia  London will definitely loose its appeal.”

Darien Bradshaw, International Project Marketing for CBRE, was equally critical of the call to restrict the number of overseas buyers in London.

He said: “Hong Kong and Singapore are excellent case studies of the successful introduction of cooling measures on the property market. Similar moves in London by government would have a much greater impact on the market. 

“Given the construction industry is crucial to the British economy and new homes are needed to keep up with population growth, any new discussion on changes of regulation would be harmful to foreign demand.”

Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email