UK mulls tax on foreign property investors
London, October 31, 2013
Britain is considering imposing capital gains tax on foreign property investors in an effort to tackle soaring house prices in the capital, Sky News reported on Thursday citing unidentified sources.
It said the Treasury had provisionally costed the measure and was awaiting a final decision from finance minister George Osborne ahead of his budget update, known as the "Autumn Statement", on December 4.
The Treasury said Sky's story was "pre-Autumn Statement speculation" and declined to comment further.
House prices in London are rising at an annual pace of more than 10 percent, according to property website Rightmove, buoyed by strong demand from overseas buyers.
Britons have to pay capital gains tax - typically at 28 percent - if they make a profit when reselling any property that is not considered their primary residence. But foreign property investors have hitherto been exempt, unlike in many other European countries.
The plight of first-time homebuyers has moved up the political agenda in Britain where property prices nationally are rising at around 6 percent - more than 8 times faster than average incomes. - Reuters