Sadiq Khan: Stop overseas investors getting ‘first dibs’ on Newham homes
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Thousands of new-build Newham homes are being marketed to foreign buyers years ahead of sale, says Sadiq Khan.
A total of 3,545 Newham apartments in Royal Wharf and Discovery Tower – 3,385 in Royal Wharf and 160 in Discovery Tower - are being advertised in the Middle East and Asia two years before they complete in 2017.
The figures are taken from Labour’s analysis of properties being marketed by estate agent Knight Frank.
The Labour Mayoral candidate is tabling an amendment to the proposed Housing and Planning Bill 2015-16 and has called on the government to crack down on the sale of new-build London homes to overseas investors.
His proposal would enable Newham council and other local authorities to ringfence the marketing of London properties “exclusively to local first-time buyers”.
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The Tooting MP said: “Ambitious young Londoners are rightly fed up with seeing thousands of new homes each year sold off to overseas investors – many of whom will never live in them – years before they are actually built. They’re sick of not being given a chance in our broken housing market.
“That’s why I have set out a straightforward plan to offer Londoners ‘first dibs’ on new homes. Building new homes for Londoners must come ahead of offering investment opportunities for overseas millionaires.”
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James Moulton-Smith, sales director for Mountain Capital, the developer for Newham’s Discovery Tower, said 50 of the 160 flats had to be sold to owner-occupiers so there would be ‘a stronger appetite in the UK than overseas’.
He said: “It was an equal opportunity market. The majority have been sold to UK buyers at the moment.”
Mr Moulton-Smith was not able to quote sales figures to the Recorder but said pre-sales and marketing campaigns had been launched simultaneously to UK and overseas buyers.
He said: “It was all down to timing, there wasn’t much time left this year. We wanted to maximise the impact and get some sales in before Christmas.”
Mr Moulton-Smith added: “At this moment in time we have no plans to go overseas to market these properties.”
Royal Wharf co-developer Ballymore has also been contacted for comment.
Knight Frank said it had no comment.