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Startling rise in foreign ownership of homes in England and Wales

Surprise figures released through Freedom of Information requests show that the number of homes in England and Wales with owners registered overseas has soared.

The Centre for Public Data says that while official data on titles in England and Wales registered to companies based overseas has been published since 2017, there is no equivalent official data for titles registered to individuals based overseas.

Via FOI requests to HM Land Registry, the centre has produced new and possibly highly surprising figures on the scale of overseas ownership.

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The data shows that:

- 247,016 titles across England & Wales are now registered to individuals with an overseas correspondence address, nearly 1.0 per cent of all registered titles. This has more than doubled since 2010, when such individuals owned around 0.4 per cent of titles;

- Three-quarters of the titles are registered to individuals with addresses in just 20 countries, with the main groups being the Crown dependencies and British Overseas Territories (Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man and the British Virgin Islands), South-East Asia and the Middle East, and English-speaking countries;

- The growth in titles owned by overseas individuals in Northern cities like Liverpool, Manchester, Salford and Leeds has also been notable, particularly since 2016.

The CfPD says that previous studies of the effect of such buyers on local markets have been limited, based on small samples or anecdotal evidence. 

“The purpose of our work is to enable more systematic and better informed work on affordability, which we hope will support better-evidenced policy responses. Our research highlights the need for better data on UK property, and the lack of progress on previous transparency and data commitments” says the campaign.

You can see the full research here.

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