BY Richard Summerfield
Property price growth rates have slowed in many of the world’s major city markets, according a new report from Knight Frank and EY.
In recent years, affordability has become a problem, limiting price growth. The report, entitled 'Global Tax Report 2015', examines holding and selling costs for overseas buyers of prime residential property between 2010 and 2015. According to the data, the slower rate of price growth in most major markets has made transaction costs and taxation increasingly important factors for investors.
“When purchasing property as an investment, tax is not necessarily the first concern but it is important because it is often the after-tax return that measures the success of the investment," said Carolyn Steppler, private client tax services partner at EY, UK & Ireland. "Our research shows that the tax burden across the cities in this report varies considerably both in amount and extent,” she added.
The joint report examines non-tax purchase, management and sale costs across 15 leading global cities, highlighting considerable variations. For example, international investors hoping to acquire property overseas can get the lowest costs in Shanghai. Monaco offers the lowest level of taxation when purchasing property valued between $1m and $10m.
The cost of UK tax equates to around 9.7 percent and 20.7 percent for $1m and $10m properties respectively. Taxation governing residential property in the UK and London specifically has changed considerably over the last two years. In December 2014, progressive stamp duty land tax rates were introduced, and in April 2015 the taxation of capital gains on the disposal of property by non-resident owners was also introduced. Potential alterations to inheritance tax in the UK could also impact activity as certain property investment structures will become much less attractive to investors. However, London’s position as an economic and cultural powerhouse will help maintain the city's lustre for international investors.
Cities where property costs are highest include Paris, Berlin and Geneva, with costs for a $10m property can exceed 10 percent.
Report: Global Tax Report 2015