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Property investors concerned with Brexit effect on overseas investment

Property investors are concerned that Brexit could deter international buyers from purchasing property in the UK, which could in turn weaken the housing market.

A survey of over 1,000 investors by Butterfield Mortgages found that 55% of participants are worried about the effect of Brexit on overseas investment.

Some 82% said overseas buyers play a vital role in making the UK property market competitive, while 57% said it's important for the domestic economy.

However, the survey asked UK investors whether they would want to see limitations placed on overseas buyers.

Some 66% said they want to see stamp duty paid by overseas investors increased further, a measure currently being considered by the government, while 58% favour a cap on the number of properties non-UK residents can purchase.

Meanwhile, 55% said they feel overseas buyers should be prevented from buying properties at the bottom end of the UK market so as not to damage affordable housing supply. 

"As the UK heads towards the Brexit deadline, the country’s ability to attract international investment is going to be hugely important," says Alpa Bhakta, Butterfield Mortgages' chief executive.

"Ultimately, a fine balance must be found, as overseas buyers make a significant contribution to the UK economy through the purchase of prime properties, simultaneously ensuring the top end of the market remains competitive."

"They should not be pushed away too eagerly, nor made scapegoats as the UK struggles to address the bigger issue of a lack of affordable housing," he says.

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