London SE1 website team

Simon Hughes: we must stop foreign investors buying London homes

Bermondsey & Old Southwark MP Simon Hughes has called for a change in the law to stop foreign investors buying up homes in newly built developments.

Sales exhibitions for many of SE1's most high-profile developments are regularly held across the far east.

Last month homes in the South Bank Tower (formerly King's Reach Tower) were marketed to investors in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Roadshows for the Southside development in Union Street have been held in Hong Kong and Bangkok.

Homes at Tralagar Place in Walworth, part of Lend Lease's Heygate Estate redevelopment project, have been promoted as far afield as Borneo.

"Too many of the homes which are being built are now snapped up by wealthy individuals and companies abroad, often as investment properties," said Simon Hughes MP.

"The law should be changed so that housing in London can only be bought by people or companies resident or domiciled in the UK, unless it is as a permanent home or they have express permission from the Mayor of London.

"We must stop this extra upward pressure on London's housing costs as soon as possible."

Earlier this year Southwark Council's Labour leader Peter John welcomed the sale of prime SE1 homes to foreign investors. The council is using cash from these riverside schemes to fund its programme to build 1,000 new council homes across the borough.

Cllr John warned that any restriction on the purchase of homes by overseas investors would stifle regeneration in the borough: "It means that we will not get development and investment in our borough. We will not get the jobs and the growth that we need."

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