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Foreign investment in Britain helps economy

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Continued foreign investment in the British real estate market is good for the national economy, an expert has stated.

According to Dr Rohan Weerasinghe, an author and property investor, any such activity by investors based outside the UK is a "positive thing".

This, he said, is because it helps to stimulate movement in the housing market and ensures money is flowing in to the sector.

Furthermore, he stated that it helps housing to be provided for a rental market that is "already under-supplied".

"With high unemployment and increases in the number of people not being able to get on the property ladder, the demand for rental property has increased substantially in the past five years," Dr Weerasinghe commented.

Investors from outside the UK who purchase rental property were credited with helping to satisfy a demand that "cannot be met at a government level".

Dr Weerasinghe acknowledged that the influx of foreign buyers into the British buy-to-let market is not necessarily triggering a surge in house prices.

However, he said they are providing a benefit by making homes and rooms available to those who want or need to live in rental accommodation.

Foreign investors who are considering transferring money to the UK were advised to remember they are providing a home rather than solely purchasing an investment.

Dr Weerasinghe said this means they would be better off concentrating on long-term gain and lifetime income rather than solely on short-term objectives.

He added that if investors want to have a medium-term exit strategy, giving tenants to chance to purchase the house they currently live in from the owner at a discounted price can be a "win-win situation for all".

This comes shortly after the CBI predicted that economic growth in Britain will be just zero per cent this year, although growth is expected to come to 1.4 per cent during 2013.

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