London Mayor Sadiq Khan is to launch the United Kingdom’s comprehensive inquiry into the surge of real estate investments that had flooded London’s housing market as it may increase gentrification and make house costs completely unbearable for London residents and investors.
According to Mr Khan:
“It’s clear we need to better understand the different roles that overseas money plays in London’s housing market, the scale of what’s going on, and what action we can take to support development and help Londoners find a home,” Khan told the Guardian.
“That’s why we are commissioning the most thorough research on this matter ever undertaken in Britain – the biggest look of its kind at this issue – so we can figure out exactly what can be done.”
The angle of ‘dirty money’ and money laundering Mr Khan and investigators are also putting at play.
About 60% of apartments overlooking the Thames river are owned by foreign buyers. Certain offshore companies owned a quarter of the unoccupied flats in the area.
Most middle to upper class Chinese individuals and companies owned several properties in the city.
Charles Pittar, chief executive of Juwai.com, a website that aims to pair Chinese investors with property developers overseas, said he expected a major jump in investors looking for a return in Britain, adding: “The UK market, particularly post-Brexit, is really picking up.
“Our thesis – and this is supported by quite a lot of evidence – is that in many ways the international Chinese investment journey is probably just starting … The exciting thing about China is that there are 168 cities with more than a million people. So this is just such a huge market.”