Will foreign investment in new homes flood the rental market?


A number of Chinese and Russian investors have begun snapping up British homes aimed at first time buyers.

Houses in south Wales, and flats in Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield are among the properties offered at foreign investment fairs and websites in China and Russia. It is the first time that wealthy overseas buyers have focused on such properties as opposed to the usual purchase of mansions and exclusive riverside flats in London.

In London, the top end of the housing market is being propped up by foreign buyers. Previous research revealed as much as 85% of prime property purchases there are being made with foreign money.

But property experts say that because prices have soared by 19% in 18 months in London, many overseas investors are targeting homes further afield where prices are cheaper.

The investors are keen to make a profit on the booming UK property market and are most likely to go into buy-to-let, purchasing homes all across the country

Foreign investors may yet have a big impact on the future of the buy-to-let industry in the UK. They will cause an increase in houses available in the rental market, creating a fight to the bottom in rental prices, and by buying up properties, they could force up the price of houses for ordinary families and buy-to-let investors.

“Ossory Street in Moss Side, Manchester, UK” by Alex Pepperhill is licensed under creative commons 

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