Golden visas land countries on blacklist
Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are on a blacklist of countries deemed by the OECD to be putting efforts to combat tax evasion at risk with their so-called golden visa schemes. Among other states on the list are the Turks and Caicos Islands and Vanuatu. The Guardian covered an OECD report that flagged residence and citizenship-by-investment schemes the organisation feels pose a high risk.
The list also includes programmes run by Cyprus and Malta. In August, Vera Jourova, the EU justice commissioner, warned member states to watch how many citizenships they grant in return for investment, saying they represent a threat to security.
Sales soar in Singapore
Private home sales in Singapore rose 51 per cent in September, despite the introduction in July of additional market cooling measures, including increased stamp study for foreign buyers. Bloomberg reported that developers sold 932 units during the month, according to the Singapore government’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, compared with 617 in August. Sales were up 42 per cent year on year.
The news came after UK bank HSBC named the city state the best country for expats.
UK plans leasehold curbs
The UK government is proposing to cap annual ground rents on leasehold properties at £10, in contrast to the current average of £300. The FT reported that James Brokenshire, secretary of state for communities, is also looking at banning most sales of new houses as leasehold rather than freehold. In recent years housebuilders have sold thousands of houses as leaseholds, which are commonly used for blocks of flats.
Investors look beyond Manhattan
Property investors in New York who have been put off by Manhattan’s high prices, cooling sales and flat or declining growth in rents are training their sights across the East River. One target is the cheaper condominiums in Long Island City in the borough of Queens. Figures from estate agents Stribling & Associates, covered by the Wall Street Journal, found that a third of new condos sold in Long Island City since 2017 were bought by investors, compared with 8 per cent between 2006 and 2010.
Brooklyn penthouse makes history
Meanwhile, neighbouring Brooklyn has witnessed the most expensive home sale in its history. The Marmol Radziner-designed penthouse, which was created by merging two penthouses into one, has been sold for more than $20m. Architectural Digest reported that the 7,433sq ft home, in Quay Tower by the East River, includes a private terrace and floor-to-ceiling windows with spectacular city views.
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