Non-UK residents to be charged higher stamp duty if Conservatives win election
Homebuyers who are not UK residents will be forced to pay a higher rate of stamp duty under a Tory government, the party has announced.
The move is designed to stop foreign investors purchasing UK property and either leaving it empty or renting it out at inflated prices.
According to a recent study, 13% of homes sold in London between 2014 and 2016 were bought by non-UK residents.
Ministers say the trend reduces the supply of available housing stock, pushing up prices for those trying to get on the property ladder.
At the moment, the process that overseas buyers go through is exactly the same as that followed by British residents.
Under the Tory plans, the rate of stamp duty paid by non-UK residents would be up to 3% higher than those living in this country.
Rishi Sunak, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: "Evidence shows that by adding significant amounts of demand to limited housing supply, purchases by non-residents inflate house prices.
"That is why we are introducing a higher rate of stamp duty for non-UK residents that will help to address this issue and could raise up to £120 million.
"Britain will always be open to people coming to live, work, and build a life in this great country. The steps we are taking will ensure that more people have the opportunity of a great place to live and build a family.
"Housebuilding is already at its highest level for 30 years, with over 240,000 homes delivered last year. A vote for the Conservatives will allow us to get on with implementing our ambitious domestic agenda."
The move comes a year after Theresa May announced similar proposals.
Speaking at the 2018 Conservative conference, the then Prime Minister said: "Britain will always be open to people who want to live, work and build a life here.
"But it cannot be right that it is as easy for individuals who don’t live in the UK, as well as foreign based companies, to buy homes as hard working British residents.
"For too many people the dream of home ownership has become all too distant and the indignity of rough sleeping remains all too real."