Following an investigation in the Times last week which revealed that just seven per cent of properties in one of the largest recent property developments in central Manchester were bought by UK buyers, the UK government has announced its plans for a new register to monitor property owned by companies based overseas.
The move, reported on TheMoveChannel, which is part of the country’s focus on cracking down on money laundering, follows an anti-corruption summit hosted by the government last year.
“The UK property market attracts a great deal of inward investment to the UK. This investment benefits the UK economy and supports the construction industry and a host of connected trades across the country. It is something that the UK government is committed to protecting. Therefore it is important to ensure the integrity and reputation of the UK property market,” says Margot James, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility.
“The UK property market should be seen as fair, transparent and clean in order to attract the right investors and owners. Honest business should not fear that they are supporting criminal enterprise when investing in UK property. A higher level of transparency will boost investor confidence.”
The government has issued a call for evidence that sets out proposals for the new beneficial ownership register of overseas companies, seeking views on the design of the policy and evidence on the possible effects of the policy.
This call for evidence will be of interest to overseas legal entities which own UK property or are considering buying UK property, overseas legal entities which are considering participating in UK central government procurement and professional advisers and service providers for overseas legal entities.
“This government is committed to building an economy that works fairly for everyone. An important element of this is our continued commitment to improve transparency of company ownership.”
For future housing policy developments, a new national research centre, which will be independent from government and other interests, has been launched to provide robust evidence to inform housing policy and practice across the UK.
The UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) has been launched by ESRC, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. It is a collaboration between nine UK Universities and four non-HEI organisations and will have staff located at five hubs across the UK in Glasgow, Sheffield, London, Cardiff and Belfast. CaCHE will be led by the University of Glasgow.
CaCHE will join together a comprehensive range of stakeholders with the goal of tackling housing problems at a national, devolved, regional, and local level.