British residents will be given the first chance to buy any new homes in London, so long as the asking price is under £350,000. Mayor Sadiq Khan announced the proposal, saying it was only fair that Londoners “get first dibs” on new homes in the capital.
City Hall has brokered a deal with some of the developers currently building in London. New homes will be offered exclusively to Londoners for one home. For the next two months, UK-based buyers will have the opportunity to purchase any homes that have not sold. Only after three months will developers be able to market the properties to overseas buyers.
The house builders involved in the deal include Bellway, Berkeley Homes, Barratt, Taylor Wimpey and A2 Dominion.
Providing affordable homes
Many buyers have been priced out of buying in London with foreign investors in particular blamed for snapping up not only high-end properties on the market but also those seen as affordable.
Mr Khan had commissioned the London School of Economics and York University to examine the effect of overseas buyers on the capital’s housing market. It found that 50 percent of so-called affordable homes had been sold to foreign investors, with an average 13.2 percent of all London properties being sold to overseas buyers, a figure that rises to 53 percent in the most expensive areas.
Only a third of foreign investors (30 percent) buy in London with the intention of living there, the remainder purchasing property purely for investment purposes.
The mayor told the Times: “With London in the grip of a housing crisis, it can’t be right that so many homes are left empty at a time when thousands of Londoners can’t find an affordable home.”