Foreign ownership of homes in England and Wales has reportedly nearly tripled over the past decade, as wealthy investors eye the UK’s coveted property portfolio.
Nearly 250,000 homes in England and Wales have been registered with overseas-based buyers, a figure which has swelled from fewer than 88,000 homes in 2010, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPD).
The data, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act from HM Land Registry, suggested that wealthy overseas buyers are a factor in pumping up house prices, the Financial Times reported.
UK house prices have climbed from an average of £167,500 in early 2010 to £264,000 in August this year, according to official data – while the typical price for a house in London has shot past £500,000.
London has remained the golden egg in the property chase however, with more than 12,000 homes in Westminster alone owned abroad.
The trend has spread to less wealthy areas of the capital such as Tower Hamlets, Newham and Lambeth.
Some two-thirds of the purchases have come from buyers based in 12 countries, with Hong Kong buyers the biggest spenders – snapping up over 21,300 homes in England and Wales since 2010, up from 2,170 a decade ago.
Royal Dependents and tax havens, including Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man and the British Virgin Islands, also host other key buyers who collectively own nearly 50,000 homes in England and Wales.