More than half of UK investors believe Brexit could threaten overseas investment in property, weakening the housing market, according to a new study.
Research from Butterfield Mortgages Limited has found that 82% of investors think that overseas buyers are vital to a competitive housing market, with 57% believing they are crucial to the UK economy as a whole.
But 55% of respondents fear that Brexit will put overseas buyers off investing creating ripples throughout the market.
Alpa Bhakta, chief executive of Butterfield Mortgages said: “As the UK heads towards the Brexit deadline, the country’s ability to attract international investment is going to be hugely important. This new research highlights how many property investors are concerned that we may, in fact, be pushing away overseas buyers and in turn damaging our own real estate market.”
Two thirds of those surveyed did, however, want to see limitations on foreign investment through an increase in stamp duty. A cap on the number of properties, which could be purchased by a non-resident was also favoured by 58%.
More than half of the investors (55%) believed that overseas buyers should be prevented from purchasing property at the cheaper end of the market in order to maintain the supply of affordable housing.
According to Mr Bhakta: “It is clear that controls must be put in place to protect the interests of domestic buyers, whether that is a stamp duty surcharge or property cap for overseas buyers.
“Ultimately, a fine balance must be found, as overseas buyers make a significant contribution to the UK economy through the purchase of prime properties, simultaneously ensuring the top end of the market remains competitive. They should not be pushed away too eagerly, nor made scapegoats as the UK struggles to address the bigger issue of a lack of affordable housing.”
Read more about this story on the Property Wire website.