By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.


Increasing SDLT for overseas buyers ‘would send a catastrophic message’

The government’s decision to launch a consultation into a proposal to add 1% onto the stamp duty paid when buying a home in England and Northern Ireland, payable by those who are not resident in the UK, has been slammed by a leading London-based letting agent.

This comes nearly three years on from the increase in stamp duty for native buy-to-let investors, a move that has deterred many from investing in the sector further reducing the number of available properties while at the same time increasing rents.

Benham and Reeves, one of London’s largest independent letting and sales agents, believes this further restriction imposed on foreign investment will only see the problem worsen.


Benham and Reeves director, Marc von Grundherr, said: “The decision to impose a further penalty on the buy-to-let market via purchases from foreign buyers will send a catastrophic message to this segment of the market at a time when London needs nurturing, not further suffocation.

“When will the government learn that the use of stamp duty as a blunt instrument to gain quick and easy revenue is nothing but counterproductive? We’ve already seen the impact a squeeze on the buy-to-let market can have with the Treasury some £1bn worse off as a result and any similar endeavours will no doubt yield the same results.

“The truth of the matter, as stated by a recent paper by the London School of Economics, is that the vast majority of foreign investment into UK property provides fuel for the rental market. To discourage this will leave yet more hard stretched Londoners scrambling to find suitable accommodation for themselves and their families.”

von Grundherr firmly believes that any further hike in the cost of purchasing property will inevitably lead to further rent increases.

“An attack on those from abroad who wish to show faith in our current market is a foolish endeavour indeed,” he added.

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

  • Bill Wood

    Tranfer Tax plus Stamp Duty in Spain for foreigners is 8% AFAIK.
    Didn't stop me, nor tens of thousands of fellow Brits buying there as well.
    A modest increase of 1% seems tame by comperison.

  • icon

    I had a house in Spain, extortionately expensive to buy and sell there.

  • icon
    • 14 February 2019 11:07 AM

    The UK Govt serms determined to reduce the size of the PRS.................................so where are all the tenants gonna live!!!?? especilly the 350000 that enter and remain in the UK every year!!??
    I simply don't understand the Govt logic of wanting to reduce the size of the PRS caused by their bonkers ant-PRS policies.
    It is the PRS that has been housing most people.
    Without it does Govt seriously imagine that all the tenants can become homeowners!?
    The Tories are seriously deluded.
    It is only the PRS that can provide the accommodation needed.
    Until Govt builds millions of properties of all types of tenure the PRS is the only real resource that is housing people.
    Yet this is a resource that Govt sedms hellbent on exterminating.
    I just don't get it!!!
    At least the Irish Govt has seen the error of their ways.
    They are now rolling back anti-LL policies and are now having to actively encourage private LL back into the market.
    The UK Govt should consider very carefully the Irish experience.
    It will give them a clue as to what they will need to do!!!

  • icon

    I'm actually in favor of this. It was foreign money looking for safety ie laundering that started the last ridiculous increase in property in London. Remember Chinese events encouraging BTL as a way of protection against the Chinese Yuan?
    As you know this has a ripple effect throughout the country but increased rents rapidly in the capital. Now we got Jeremy Corbyn/Sadiq Khan creating housing policies that will affect the rest of the country where rents were relatively uneffected. Only reason my rents have increased this year is due to government interference to appease voters

  • icon

    These measures are less about generating revenue and more about playing to the youth vote.

    There is a strong social narrative that would justify, to some, these measures continuing.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up