New BBC research claims that a quarter of UK properties owned by overseas-based companies have been purchased by entities registered in the British Virgin Islands.
The report reveals that the Caribbean archipelago is the official home of companies that own more than 23,000 UK properties. They are owned by 11,700 firms registered in the overseas territory. This is more than any other country. The British Virgin Islands – a tax haven – has a population of just over 30,600.
The research found there are around 97,000 properties in England and Wales which are held by overseas firms, as of January 2018. After the British Virgin Islands, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, are the most popular bases for corporate holders of UK property.
Of all the properties owned by overseas companies in England and Wales, two thirds are registered to firms in the British Virgin Islands, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.
Unsurprisingly, London is the main location for overseas firms buying property in the UK. The capital accounted for 44 per cent of overseas owned properties overall. More than one in ten (11,500) properties owned by overseas companies in England and Wales are located in Westminster, while, a further 6,000 were in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
The total value of properties owned by overseas buyers in London topped £33.9 billion – although the BBC research could only find accurate price information for the 27,835 most recently sold properties. The South East is the next most popular location for overseas companies (worth £7.2 billion), followed by the West Midlands and North West (both £3.1 billion).
Article published 14th February 2018