The shadow £7 billion: How offshore funds bolster UK property market
Last year saw £7 billion worth of offshore funds invested in potentially tax-exempt purchases of UK property
According to an investigation by The Guardian, a series of high-profile properties in London including apartments in Richard Rogers’ One Hyde Park have been sold to companies benefitting from offshore secrecy.
The newspaper claimed the country has become a ‘property speculators’ haven’, fuelled by the anonymity of offshore companies registered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and tax loopholes.
Recent sales to BVI registered companies include Riverside House which sold for £97 million and Ralph Erskine’s Ark in Hammersmith which changed hands for £30 million.
Around 80 per cent of properties within One Hyde Park – where apartments range from £3 million to £136 million – were sold to BVI entities, the report claimed.
Offshore purchases have contributed to rocketing property values in London. Prices in ‘prime central London’ have increased 49 per cent since early 2009, five times the rate of the UK as a whole according to estate agents Knight Frank.
Subscribe to AJ for £3 per week
Subscribe today and receive 47 issues of the magazine, 12 issues of AJ Specification and full access to TheAJ.co.uk and the AJ Buildings Library
Are you a student?
Students can subscribe to the AJ for £8 per month or £1.60 per week! Click here to start receiving the most recommended magazine for architecture students