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Norfolk property investors: home vs abroad

Norfolk and its largest city, Norwich, have become very popular with investors of late, with people from all over the UK either moving to the area or investing in property as a long-term way to generate income.

However, as well as investors based here in the UK, there has also been significant investment from offshore funds. In fact, in recent years there has been a real boom in investment coming from outside the country. In 2015 there were 84 offshore property transactions, and in 2017 there were a further 49.

The biggest overseas buyers of property here in Norfolk were from Guernsey and Jersey, with firms registered in the British Virgin Islands and Isle of Man also investing. Firms from these destinations have spent a total of around £400 million since 2015, according to information from the Land Registry. However, the real figure is believed to be much higher, as not all properties sold had listed prices on the Land Registry.

Although this is welcome investment in the region, this kind of offshore buying is not without its complications. There are tax loopholes that are being exploited and it can often be very difficult to know exactly who owns property. In fact, there are so many issues that the government announced a consultation on changing the laws in its last budget.

For example, as reported in edp24, the new Wickes store on Hellesdon Hall Road which sold for £6 million is registered to a company in the British Virgin Islands. In the city centre, companies have bought up prime real estate spots. The same is true all over North Norfolk.

This kind of investment is driving up prices in the area, which is good news for some investors who already have a property portfolio, but not such great news for anyone looking to get on the ladder. By keeping prices high in the city and not paying the full amount of taxation, these kinds of investment do not contribute as fully as they could. However, they remain perfectly legal and a great way of making a good return on your investment.

To discuss any aspect of investment, be it from home or abroad, in the Norwich or Norfolk area, get in touch with a member of the Agile team. We’re more than happy to talk you through the ins and outs of all kinds of investment, discussing the pros and cons of all your options.