Anti Corruption Summit and London Property

Anti Corruption Summit and London Property

We all know that lots of dodgy cash from all around the world is sunk in London property. We just don’t know how much.

But the anti-corruption summit is interesting in this regard as it could effect London property.

The summit will probably achieve bugger all of note. And why would it when the City of London is at the centre of a spider’s web of the worlds best and biggest tax haven network and centre for money laundering? For example, I have just seen on Channel 4 News how a whole dossier of evidence about funny money from a Canadian investigator was given to the UK law enforcement authorities months ago, and nothing has been done with it at all.

And then, there is the reluctance of the UK government to close down our own offshore tax havens.

But the very fact that the UK is actually talking about this, and that Dave C is hosting a conference on it could make rich foreigners increasingly reluctant to stash their ill gotten gains in the UK’s capital. They may prefer Monaco or some other dodgy locale in the future instead.

The summit comes with a move to require all offshore companies that own property in the UK, to declare the actual owners. That will scare some.

And this also has the potential to really make the top end of the London property market wobble even more than it is already. (The oversupply of posh new builds combined with the move in 2014 to make overseas property investors pay capital gains tax from April 2014 plus SDLT hikes has already put the top end in a spin).

Don’t underestimate the effect that just talking about anti-corruption and the call to make London property ownership more transparent could have. It could dampen the fire on all London house prices and have impacts even beyond London, even if not much actually happens  – e.g. little confiscation of assets or fines are dished out to banks.

Yes, this could be massive, because the scale of funny foreign money could be a lot more massive than anyone has really appreciated  – and it may explain why London house prices are already so stupidly viagra generic name high compared with locals’ earnings.

Watch this space.

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