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Neath and Port Talbot in top 10 places with property held in tax havens.

Neath and Port Talbot in top 10 places avoiding stamp duty and inheritance tax.

23 January, 2012

Source: Mortgage Introducer

A Land Registry inventory of 18,700 titled deeds - the first of its kind to be published - reveals that the trend is spreading to the regions too with Manchester, Leeds and Derby becoming top locations for properties placed into tax havens.

CoStar Group, a Nasdaq-quoted company and a provider of information to commercial real estate professionals in the UK and the US, has reported that in London’s Westminster alone there are 10,233 properties held in offshore havens, and in Kensington and Chelsea there are 5,464.

Among the properties placed in vehicles, which enable owners to avoid the 5% stamp duty charged for selling properties worth more than 1m, are a 250m office complex near the US embassy in Mayfair and many of the apartments in One Hyde Park.

In Cadogan Square in Knightsbridge 26 properties are registered abroad.

Owners can also avoid inheritance tax, charged at 40%.

The regions are increasingly also the focus of such purchases. The top 10 places chosen by property buyers registered in Jersey last year include Preston, Neath, Port Talbot, Bristol, Hinckley and Bosworth in Leicestershire and Wokingham in Berkshire.

The Times has previously estimated that the loophole costs the government between 330m-500m a year in Stamp Duty and 1.3bn in inheritance tax and says the figures will increase growing pressure on government to clamp down on the practice.

The value of properties registered in havens including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man surged 30% to 500m last year following the government’s decision in April last year to raise stamp duty to 5%.

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Note: From March 2012 Neath and Port Talbot Watchdog will release the latest data from the Land Registry inventory for some of the residential property sales Neath and Port Talbot.