Wednesday, September 02, 2015

England for Sale

British satirical magazine Private Eye has created an interactive map which shows the amount of English & Welsh land that has been bought up by offshore companies. Selling England by the Offshore Pound uses Land Registry data to plot all land parcels registered in the name of an offshore company between 2005 and July 2014.

The situation in London in particular is extremely depressing. As Private Eye reports land is often being bought by offshore companies for 'tax avoidance and ... to conceal dubious wealth'. The result of all this offshore investment is to stoke up the cost of property in London. Buying a house in London has therefore become unaffordable for almost everyone except the very rich.

Many of these offshore owned properties are also left empty for long periods of the year. This removes the property from the rental market, effectively pushing up the cost of renting a property in London. The other effect of all these empty properties is to destroy local businesses many of whom operate in once active residential areas which are now deserted for much of the year.

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