As reported in the Leicester Mercury

Hinckley and Bosworth has emerged as an unlikely shelter for the wealth of foreign property investors.

Overseas buyers poured money into properties in towns and cities last year, to protect their wealth in Britain instead of volatile overseas economies.

The advantage for those who are not resident or domiciled in the UK is that they can sell the property without the sale incurring stamp duty of up to five per cent.

The owner can also avoid inheritance tax charged at 40 per cent – over the £350,000 threshold – when they die.

Hinckley and Bosworth was ranked as one of the top 10 locations for offshore property purchases, based on an analysis of Land Registry records, with nine made in the past 12 months. Ian Johnson, private client tax partner at Grant Thornton, said: "There are a number of reasons for foreign investors to buy property in Britain.


"It could be inheritance tax mitigation, for example, because the tax only applies to individuals domiciled in the UK. It could also be an attempt to avoid liability for stamp duty.

"However, it's unlikely that there are Russian billionaires with trophy homes in Hinckley and Bosworth.

"Instead, we're likely to be talking about far less expensive properties."

Once a property is held by an overseas company it can be sold without the taxman being informed of the change in ownership.

Experts have estimated the loophole could cost the public purse £500 million a year in stamp duty and £1.3 billion in inheritance tax.

Kate Chorley, a partner at BHW solicitors, in Leicestershire, said: "Property prices in Hinckley are relatively affordable compared with other parts of the country, particularly areas such as central London which foreign investors have traditionally focused on.

"It's also a big development area, and there will be additional demand when Mira's expansion takes place, which could push prices up."

Automotive research firm Mira is due to carry out a £300 million expansion of its Higham-on-the-Hill base, which will create 2,000 jobs.

Central London and Manchester topped the list for overseas property buyers. Coventry, Preston and Barnet all appeared in the top 10.




























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