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Foreign buyers affect London's house prices and leave homes 'empty and unused', say Assembly

The London Assembly agreed to investigate the issue, claiming Londoners "deserve to know"

Sadiq Khan will investigate the issue of London homes being bought up by foreign investors

An investigation into foreign buyers and their impact on London house prices has been launched by the London Assembly .

Assembly Members agreed a motion asking new Mayor Sadiq Khan to examine the effects foreign investors on the city's housing crisis as the capital continues to be a magnet for wealthy buyers .

Speaking at City Hall on Wednesday (June 8), Caroline Pidgeon, who proposed the motion, said: "To ensure we have the right policies in place to tackle London’s housing challenges we must first have a full understanding of the real impact that overseas investment is having on the price, affordability and supply of homes for Londoners.

"At present we only have a partial picture of why overseas investment has increased in so many parts of London.

"It is not even clear how many of these are even being used.

"Londoners deserve to know exactly what is happening to London’s housing market and that is why a full investigation is so desperately needed.”

Caroline Pidgeon who began the motion, said Londoners need to know what is happening with the city's housing crisis

With London property continuing to attract foreign buyers, more pressure on the Mayor was placed by the Assembly to look into how it affects the supply of homes.

Before assuming the position, Khan had promised to build 800,000 homes in the first year , with half of those to be "affordable homes".

He also pledged to give Londoners first dibs to buy them over buy-to-let purchasers or overseas investors.

However, he came under scrutiny in his first Mayor's Question Time after admitting he cannot put a figure on the number of homes he'll be able to build each year .

Since coming into office, Sadiq Khan has accused former Tory Mayor Boris Johnson of "leaving the cupboards bare" where housing is concerned after an emergency audit was launched looking into the situation.

Khan's first Mayor's Question Time, where he talked about the spiralling housing crisis

AM Fiona Twycross, who seconded the motion, said: "The need for more housing in the capital for Londoners is greater than ever and it is simply unacceptable to have much needed homes sitting empty and unused.

"Londoners deserve to know the full extent to which foreign investment in London’s housing has led to houses not being used for homes and house prices sky rocketing.

"Instigating this research is vital in showing the true effects of overseas investment on the London housing market.”

A recent Guardian investigation revealed that almost two-thirds of homes in the Tower, a 50-storey residential development in Vauxhall, are in foreign ownership, many of which are believed to be empty and unoccupied.

One quarter of these are also held through opaque offshore companies, raising serious questions in the Assembly about where the money for the purchase of these properties has come from.

The motion was agreed by 16 votes for and 6 against.

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