Do foreign investors still have time to buy before stamp duty increases?

November 6, 2020

The stamp duty holiday introduced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in response to the COVID-19 pandemic allows buyers to save as much as £15,000 on the cost of buying a property in the UK if they purchase it before the end of March 2021. However, for foreign investors, that is not their only incentive to hurry along their property purchases in the UK. While UK buyers will see stamp duty bands return to their previous rates on 1 April 2021, foreign investors will face new, higher rates. 

This is because the government is introducing new rates for those who buy property in England and Northern Ireland but who aren’t resident in the UK. Those buyers will pay stamp duty at rates 2% higher than UK residents as of 1 April. That’s in addition to the 3% surcharge that already applies to those buying a second or subsequent property, meaning that foreign investors will pay 5% more stamp duty than those living in the UK. Stamp duty payable on rents on the grant of a new lease is also increasing from 1 April 2021.

“Given the looming increase in property purchase costs in the UK from 1 April 2021, we’re anticipating a growing surge as we head into 2021 of foreign investors trying to complete their purchases in time. Indeed, the trend has already begun as sales need to complete by the deadline, not just have exchanged contracts.”

Dale Anderson, Managing Director, Fabrik Invest

The new government guidance states that transitional rules may apply to purchases where contracts are substantially performed before 31 March 2021 but that do not complete until 1 April onwards. As such, the clock is very much ticking for foreign investors looking for the perfect UK property investment. 

While the ‘perfect’ investment will differ from person to person, based on individual circumstances, hotspots such as the city of York are likely to be the focus of much of this rapid influx of foreign buyers. Home to a collection of 32 one- and two-bedroom apartments at the well-located Icona development, York is a city on many property investors’ radars right now due to its rising prices and healthy rental market. Icona’s homes, which include three spacious penthouses with private terraces, are priced from £245,000. 

“The rush to buy before the stamp duty increase kicks in means that investors need to move fast, but not at the expense of their usual principles around risk, property type, location and so forth. There are some excellent investment properties available in key UK locations, so the right property is there for everyone – investors just need to find it in time.”

Dale Anderson, Managing Director, Fabrik Invest

For further details, call Fabrik Invest on 020 8175 9891, email or visit

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Wayne Venter

International Business Development Manager

Wayne has been in the property industry for over 17 years. He started out selling residential properties in the northern suburbs of Sandton, South Africa, for one of the bigger real estate brands, before moving to a boutique, Johannesburg-based property developer. He worked at a senior level, specialising in residential developments on the north coast of KZN and various other areas of Northern Johannesburg.

Wayne moved to selling luxury, free standing homes and apartments in Sandton, Johannesburg in 2006, having joined the Country’s leading real estate brand and within six months was leading the team. In 2008, he began to focus exclusively on the luxury apartments in central Sandton, priced from approximately R2 million to R60 million. Over the years, he has also added commercial property sales and rentals to his repertoire, as well as building his own investment property portfolio between 2011 and 2018.

By 2018, realising where the South African property market was headed, he sold out of his investment property portfolio to de-risk and went looking for a real estate company to buy into. South Africa’s property market was extremely volatile at that time, so Wayne took the initiative and moved to London to work in property in the UK.

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Edward Snell

Senior Property Consultant

I live in Spanish countryside with my wife and our 11 rescue dogs.

Originally from Bedford, I have two sons, two step children & 6 grandchildren.

I have a keen interest in property investment and over the years have built up a personal portfolio for the purposes of rental income and capital growth.

I have over 20 years’ experience in property investment, both in the UK & overseas.

My other interests include animal welfare, football, motorsports, travel and music

My personality is of an even temperament and I enjoy the cut and thrust of doing deals.
I am happy and successful in what I do & take great pleasure in providing my clients with successful outcomes.

I’m a good team player but work well as an individual.

Daniel Harburn

Property Sales Consultant

Daniel had a passion for property from a young age so he began his working life by undertaking a plumbing apprenticeship for a large well known UK developer to pursue a career in construction. After qualifying he soon realised that building relationships was a preferred skill of his due to his loyal and trusting nature.

From then on Daniel launched his career in sales where he worked his way to to a high performing sales person at a creative media company. Part of Daniels success in accumulating clients over the last 10 years is put down to his diligence in customer experience.

Daniel has a keen interest in golf and also in keeping himself fit which is essential as he and his fiancé have 4 year old twins, Jacob and Sofia who keep them both on their toes.

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