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Overseas ownership of homes in Wales more than doubles in a decade

12 Nov 2021 3 minutes Read
Picture by Cymdeithas yr Iaith

The number of homes in Wales owned by overseas buyers has more than doubled in the last decade, according to new statistics.

Analysis by Anna Powell-Smith of the Centre for Public Data, a non-profit organisation, has shown a big increase in the presence of overseas buyers in the UK.

Between January 2010 and August 2021 the number of foreign buyers almost tripled in Gwynedd, from 114 to 311, and Pembrokeshire, from 136 to 361. In Cardiff, the number almost doubled from 419 to 834.

Across Wales, the number rose from 247% from 2,145 to 5,305.

Average house price in Wales rose 12.9 per cent in the last year to an average of £198,880.

Anna Powell-Smith of the Centre for Public Data said in her report that the figures suggested that governments’ focus on meeting demand from within the UK may be hiding some of the factors behind the increases in prices.

The Centre for Public Data also showed that the number of homes in England owned by foreign buyers had tripled, which could also have the knock-on effect of pushing up prices in Wales as people sought cheaper property elsewhere.

A large number of buyers – almost 50,000 in Wales and England – were tied to crown dependencies and tax havens, including Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and the British Virgin Islands.

But Hong Kong was the single largest source of property buyers, with 23,524 homes in England and Wales owned by residents of the city, an increase from 2,170 homes in 2010.

UK house prices as a whole have risen from an average of £167,500 at the start of 2010 to £264,000 in August of this year.

HMLR titles owned by individuals with an overseas correspondence address by district, 2010-21

“This topic is a prime example of how UK housing policy is often poorly supported by published official data. In particular, evidence on new factors affecting demand in the UK property market – from buy-to-let to overseas investment – is hard to come by,” the report by Anna Powell-Smith says.

“This may have influenced the policy focus on supply, whereby official housing policy is primarily focussed on building more homes rather than tax or policy measures based on demand.”

The report added: “We recommend that the Government should proceed urgently with plans to implement a public register of the beneficial owners of property in England & Wales that is owned by overseas companies. This will give us more insight into the beneficial (real) owners of land held via companies based in secrecy jurisdictions.”

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j humphrys
j humphrys
22 days ago

Mr Drakeford and Welsh Labour, why have you sat on your hands all these years?

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
22 days ago

Completely unacceptable! This buy to let market needs to be regulated. Ordinary, young working people are being priced out of their communities by ‘investors’ who are looking to get rich quick regardless of who gets hurt. This is a great injustice. Come on politicians get a grip and put an end to this!

Dale McElwee
Dale McElwee
22 days ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

Gwnynedd has seen an increase of 200 overseas sales.

Doctors and nurses from overseas helping Betsi Cadwaladr out of special measures, no?

Last edited 22 days ago by Dale McElwee
j humphrys
j humphrys
22 days ago
Reply to  Dale McElwee

If so, a regulated rent system and ban on Rachmanism should have your support. But one suspects that you are, once again, out to troll!

Ex Plaid member
Ex Plaid member
22 days ago

I hope they did not paint on any foot holds. Those a sacrid boulders for rock climbers

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
21 days ago

If ever there was a graphic example of why Welsh Government intervention is needed in the housing market in Cymru, this is it. How on earth is this Darwinian state of affairs benefitting Wales? Poland put a ban on people from other countries buying property in Poland for ten years after it joined the EU. No-one batted an eyelid; why isn’t the WG following suit?

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