‘FIRST DIBS’

Brits could be offered houses before foreign buyers snap them up under new rules from Sadiq Khan to stop homes lying empty
Mayor of London plans first scheme of its kind to help Londoners at cheaper end of market who are being beaten to the punch by overseas buyers

BRITS could be offered houses before foreign buyers snap them up under new rules from Sadiq Khan to stop new homes lying empty

The Mayor of London is planning on launching the first scheme of its kind to help Londoners at the cheaper end of the market, who are being beaten to the punch by overseas buyers.

Mr Khan told The Time: “I want to help Londoners by looking at what measures I can offer to make sure they get first dibs on more new homes.”

The plans follows research his office commissioned, which found that despite the assumption foreign buyers only purchase high-end property, more than half of the new homes sold to them were worth between £200,000 and £500,000.

Mr Khan added: “I was struck by research that half of all property bought by overseas buyers in London were homes under £500,000 — a price range that some first-time buyers may be able to afford.”

Across London 13.2 per cent of new-build homes are sold abroad, rising to 36 per cent in the most expensive parts of the capital.

But developers argue many property developments would not get funded without many of the units being bought by overseas investors before they were built.

Rob Perrins, chief executive of housebuilder the Berkeley Group, said: “International customers have always been part of the London market.

“They buy early on and this kick-starts developments and helps to pay for the affordable homes and social infrastructure.”

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