One of the capital’s most high profile agents say prime central London’s rental market may be an indirect beneficiary of the growing scandal surrounding the so-called Panama Papers.
The papers - thousands of leaked files detailing off-shore financial activities by many of the world’s richest individuals and corporations - may drive High Net Worth buyers from the London sales market and towards the less-scrutinised lettings sector instead, according to Peter Wetherell. chief executive of Mayfair agency Wetherell.
“This latest Panama issue uncovers where wealthy people are putting or investing their money, so it going public is a massive loss of privacy for the people concerned. Some ultra wealthy may choose to rent rather than buy and face these types of politically sensitive offshore company issues” he has told London’s Evening Standard newspaper.
It has been revealed that an associate of Syrian president Bashar Assad used offshore companies to hold a portfolio of London homes, including a £1m flat in St George Wharf in Vauxhall, a £1.2m flat at Albion Riverside in Battersea and a £1.3m home in St John’s Wood.