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UK Offshore Property Ownership: Study Reveals £38.9 Billion in Real Estate Holdings

Published by Chirag
Posted Date: September 7, 2023 , Modified Date: September 7, 2023

A recent study has unveiled a significant revelation about UK offshore property ownership: a staggering £38.9 billion worth of UK real estate is held by offshore companies not bound by domestic tax regulations. This substantial sum translates to approximately 80,460 homes scattered across the country.

Among the offshore havens, the British Virgin Islands stand out with £13.23 billion of the housing stock, equivalent to 20,777 homes. Surprisingly, the largest hotspot for UK offshore property ownership is Jersey, boasting a remarkable 21,602 properties.

Exploring UK Offshore Property Ownership: Insights from the Study

Conducted by property experts, this study sheds light on the extensive phenomenon of UK offshore property ownership. The research highlights that numerous properties are under the ownership of foreign companies unaffected by domestic tax laws, with a combined market value of £39.8 billion. This total includes the significant £13.23 billion held by companies based in the British Virgin Islands alone.

UK Offshore Property Ownership

Delving deeper into this exploration of UK offshore property ownership, the study identifies the next five major offshore tax havens, considering both value and volume: Guernsey (£5.50 billion and 12,877 properties), the Isle of Man (£4.49 billion and 10,393 properties), Luxembourg (£1.07 billion and 2,446 properties), Singapore (£908.13 million and 2,030 properties), and Hong Kong (£851.09 million and 1,632 properties).

Furthermore, when examining the tax havens where offshore companies are actively increasing their property holdings, the Cayman Islands tops the list. The number of properties owned by companies registered in this Caribbean-based British Overseas Territory has risen by 66 between August 2022 and August 2023, marking a significant 4.8% increase. Ireland follows closely with a 4.4% surge, while France observes a 4.2% rise in offshore property ownership.

However, the landscape of UK offshore property ownership is not without fluctuations. At the other end of the spectrum, overseas ownership has fallen significantly from companies in Bermuda by -19.5%. Luxembourg and Malta have also experienced notable declines of -10.5% and -9.7%, respectively.

UK Offshore Property Ownership

In terms of volume, the tax haven buying up the most property is Jersey, with 568 properties. Guernsey follows with 306 properties, and the Isle of Man with 125 properties.

Considerations Regarding UK Offshore Property Ownership

Experts assert that while UK offshore property ownership may be 'legal' according to current legislation, it raises questions about the government's priorities. In challenging economic times like these where major cities like Birmingham are facing financial crisis, ensuring that remote property owners pay their fair share and contribute to the tax revenue can help level the playing field for domestic buyers.

In summary, the study's findings provide a comprehensive look into the world of UK offshore property ownership, revealing significant sums and trends in various tax havens. The need of transparency in overseas entities is a challenge, and overseas entities owning property in the UK must follow compliance to ensure no economic crisis befalls on the country.

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