We now have the dubious accolade of being the highest property tax environment in the world

Additional 2% SDLT surcharge for overseas investors – is this dumb or dumber?

I cannot believe my eyes when ‘proud as Punch’, the Revenue confirmed today that the ridiculous SDLT surcharge for overseas investors buying residential property, will be implemented after all.

Cranking the thumbscrew

The Stamp Duty escalator, put into effect by the former Chancellor, hasn’t done enough damage or distortion to the residential property market already, without this further cranking of the thumbscrew.

When this was introduced in 2014, annual Stamp Duty receipts were approximately £12.5billion and the OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) predicted this would rise to £19.5billion by 2020. Yet today, it is closer to £ 7.5billion for residential sales and no doubt, after this overseas surcharge has had its affect, it will be even less.

Dumb and Dumber…

Now we all know and understand that it appears that the housing stock is finite and we annually now build approximately half the required new homes ie 150,000 (private and affordable) that we need to sustain ourselves ie 300,000, but instead of increasing the supply which brings valuable foreign earnings into this country, the Chancellor, in his infinite wisdom, is trying to curtail the demand by this surcharge tax. Dumb and dumber springs to mind.

… industrial strength constipation

I applaud the Tory administration’s valiant attempts to bypass the planning chicane which, through its petty, political antics, is restricting the supply of new homes by expanding the permitted rights initiative, which allows commercial premises to be changed to residential use, without needing planning consent. However, wouldn’t it be better if there were a ‘Dominic Cummings’-driven root and branch reform of the planning processes of local councils, so that worthy consents pass through this system like ‘a dose of salts’, instead of being blockaded by industrial strength constipation?

In the post-Brexit era, we are going to need our foreign investors more than ever before. Osborne has foolishly withdrawn the non-domiciled tax status for a good number of international residents, which has cost the Treasury at least £ 3billion and isn’t it coincidental that the socialist regimes in France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, have changed their tax laws so as to give these wandering, wealthy refugees, a safe fiscal haven in their respective countries.

They cannot believe their luck. If we, the UK, are stupid enough to expel these cherished wealth creators, they are going to benefit from the inward investment that they bring in truckloads.


Why do we consider aping the benefits of being a ‘Singapore-on-Thames’, such an unworthy unmeritorious aspiration? This would attract the wealthiest brains of the world to our shores, in order to benefit from an attractive fiscal environment, much to the chagrin of our former European partners, with their highly unionised and regulated working practices, made worse by their Neanderthal labour mobility, which has been the hallmark of the socialistic continent of Europe for so long, and has reassuringly delivered a permanently high unemployment level of 9%, for their countries.

Doting respect to the Red Wall

Whilst I understand that Boris wants to level the country and pay doting respect to the Red Wall, this should not be mutually exclusive to encouraging investors from abroad to bring their bounty with them, which we need so badly, particularly in the post-Brexit era.

If you said that the government had missed a trick here, you would be the King of understatements.

With our extensive knowledge of the market, we will match you with properties that suit your needs perfectly. Contact us today and let us show you why Glentree is the perfect place to find the best properties for you!

The Government’s Decree That Completions Of Residential Properties Should Be Postponed And Viewings Of Properties By Applicants Banned

The devastating effects of this planetary curse – Covid-19 – are yet to be fully accounted for. One should never underestimate the devastation and sadness that this epidemiological problem has caused, in most nations of the world.

Therefore it is understandable that the government wants the ‘shutdown’ of movement between citizens, to lessen the surge on the finite NHS resources, which at present are creaking under strain. Continue reading

Virus invokes a surge of super-mansion enquiries to help last the incarceration of families

We are all concerned about the severity of this epidemiological virus. It is also allowing us a moment to reflect on the value of life and how lucky we are to have good health and to be able to live in this wonderful liberal society that the UK represents for its people.

Families are understandably becoming so worried about keeping safe from this omnipresent scourge, that at Glentree, we are processing three rental enquiries for people to sit out the storm, be this 3 or 6 months, and are looking for a fully-kitted mansion for this purpose.

The requirements are the usual array of grand reception rooms and enough entertainment areas to keep the whole family (from grandchildren to great-grandmas) from murdering each other, or rather, in good health and spirit for the viral incarceration, however long that may be.

The desirable residence will function as a self-contained, private bijou hotel with comparable wellness leisure complex. Essential requirements include a pool/leisure area and when you’ve finished playing with the ‘toys’, you can go out and enjoy the generous garden.

Every member of the family will want a bedroom suite and access to the luxurious features, including:
• Cinema
• Indoor pool
• Jacuzzi
• Sauna
• Steam room
• Massage room
• Hairdressing salon
• Wine cellar
• Cigar smoking room
• Art gallery
• Games room
• Fully fitted, state-of-the-art gym.

This is not forgetting an imposing entrance hall, with a triple-story, galleried landing, adorned with the appropriate Italian Murano glass chandelier. Needless to say, the tenants will expect, as standard, a fully-fitted European kitchen, separate catering facilities for parties, and a 15-car garage to show off your stable of classic automobilia, which is a must-have in today’s upper-end residential world.

Grand staircases like Topol’s

These mansions are defined by their grand staircases- overtures of Topol’s wonderful tenor voice in Fiddler on the Roof, “There would be one long staircase just going up, and one even longer coming down, and one more leading nowhere, just for show.”

On top of the list of cherished leafy residential areas are Kenwood and Hampstead. One of their great charms is being nestled between the two medieval villages of Hampstead and Highgate, with two golf courses and 900acres of ancient heathland, within walking distance.

It’s an ideal haven to maintain one’s mental and physical equilibrium, with plenty of room to uphold Boris’s 2m social distancing rule.

Hampstead, place of choice

Since time immemorial, Hampstead has been the place of choice for the landed gentry, away from the stench and Bubonic Plague (known as The Black Death) of the City of London. Horse and carriages used to trundle along the stony paths, trying to get to the famous watering holes of the Spaniards Inn and The Flask. Invariably, the legendary highwayman, Dick Turpin, was waiting in hiding for his prey and evidence can be found of his pistol and gunshot which now bedeck the walls of these historic drinking places.

Finally, if escape in the form of international travel calls – ban permitting – a private airport is a mere bagatelle at half an hour’s journey.

These uber-mansions give one the opportunity to “prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.”

If you want to live somewhere with character and charm, look no further than Hampstead. We have everything you need right here – whether it be a flat or house for sale or rent, we have something perfect for everyone! Visit our website today so we can help you find your dream home in Hampstead!