Tony Pidgley, the founder and chairman of homebuilding behemoth Berkeley Group, said taxes on property “are now too high” and have hit the London housing market particularly hard.
Pidgley, labelled the ‘Sage of Surrey’ for his ability to call the top of the UK housing market, said London “will fall well short” of its targets for new homes. He blames a cocktail of tax hikes introduced by George Osborne as chancellor and conflicting planning requirements.
Pidgley warned that, “London is the engine of our national economy and the principal driver of fiscal revenues. So this is not just a question of housing Londoners, important though that is. It poses a risk to deficit reduction and the prosperity of the whole country.”
Often described as one of the most influential people in UK property, Pidgley was born in Surrey and adopted by travellers at four. Leaving school early at 15 he formed his own successful haulage company which he sold to housebuilder Crest Nicholson.
He founded Berkeley Group in 1976 and last year pulled in a whopping £21.5 million bonus. His main home is the beautiful 100-acre Barton Lodge estate in Windsor and he also boasts property in central London including an £11m flat in exclusive Belgravia.
DMZ agrees that tax hikes haven’t helped UK or London property but would point out to the Sage of Surrey, who was an ardent Bremainer, the near-term slowdown could also be attributed to Brexit.
He should know better than most; Berkeley Homes has lost £900 million in value since the Brexit vote and has subsequently fell out of the FTSE 100.