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How Landlords Are Affected By 2015 Pre-Election Budget

How Landlords Are Affected By 2015 Pre-Election Budget

How Landlords Are Affected By 2015 Pre-Election Budget

During the pre-election budget last week, Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne MP announced some significant changes that could have a detrimental impact on landlords the UK’s private rental sector (PRS) and residential property owners.

Below are the highlights of the pre-election budget that are of relevance to landlords and property owners:

  • £13 Billion (GBP) sale announced of the mortgages of UKAR – Northern Rock and Bradford and Bingley (Mortgage Express) to reduce national debt which followed the bailing out of the banks.
  • Introduction of 20 new housing zones.
  • The economy of the North grew faster than the South during 2014.
  • The UK has the highest rate of employment in its history!
    Employment is growing fastest in the North West, Yorkshire having the biggest employment.
  • Living standards are higher in 2015 than 2010.
  • Inflation forecast downgraded to 0.2%.
  • Low interest rates to be “locked in”.
  • Original target of debt reduction set in 2010 budget has been met.
  • 13 years of rising national debt has now been stopped.
  • UK achieved the largest and most sustained debt reduction of any major economy according to the IMF.
  • Government borrowing is falling.
  • The wealthy are making the biggest contributions to reduce debt.
  • End of austerity in 2019.
  • The annual tax return is to be abolished. New digital tax accounts to be created.
  • The personal tax free allowance has been raised to £10,600 (GBP) and will be raised to £11,000 (GBP) in 2017.
  • The higher rate tax threshold will rise to £43,300 (GBP) by 2018.
  • Class 2 national insurance contributions abolished for self-employed.
  • Stronger measures against tax avoidance and tax evasion.
  • Review of avoidance of inheritance tax through deeds of variation.
  • New penalties for tax evasion and those professionals who assist them.
  • Crime down 20%.

There was some good news contained in the 2015 pre-election budget too:

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CML Forecast 16% Mortgage Lending Growth In Next 2 Years

CML Forecast 16% Mortgage Lending Growth In Next 2 Years

Council of Mortgage Lenders Predict Significant
Mortgage Lending Growth

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) have predicted that gross mortgage lending in the UK will increase by 16% over the next two years.

The CML says gross mortgage lending in the UK reached around £207 Billion (GBP) in 2014 and they firmly believe that gross mortgage lending will grow by 7% to £222 Billion (GBP) during 2015.

Following that, the CML also forecast a further 8% increase to £240 Billion (GBP) in 2016, up 16% when compared to gross mortgage lending in 2014.

While the CML are happy to forecast 2 years of mortgage lending growth, it acknowledges that the pace of growth has slowed compared with the 18% recorded from 2013 to 2014, with gross mortgage lending increasing from £176 Billion (GBP) in 2013 to £207 Billion (GBP) in 2014.

In its analysis, the CML said that the stamp duty reforms announced by the Chancellor, George Osborne, in the Autumn budget would help boost overall mortgage lending activity, following the lull encountered in the summer of 2014.

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Is The Mortgage Market Review Slowing The UK Property Market?

Is The Mortgage Market Review Slowing The UK Property Market?

Is The Mortgage Market Review Slowing The UK Property Market?

The number of new mortgages being approved by lenders dropped to an 11 month low in May 2014 as the new affordability rules brought in by the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) caused borrowers to be put off and delayed hundreds of existing mortgage applications.

The Mortgage Market Review brought in on the 26th April 2014 requires all UK based mortgage lenders to carry out rigorous affordability checks on the financial status of borrowers.

These stringent affordability checks include stress tests designed to determine if a borrower could continue to repay their loan if interest rates rise significantly.

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New Help to Buy scheme may not be much use to first-time buyers as property prices continue to rise

New Help to Buy scheme may not be much use to first-time buyers as property prices continue to rise

Help to Buy scheme may boost

UK property prices
but may not be much use

to first time buyers

The controversial Government incentive scheme “Help to Buy” set for launch on 1st January 2014 is designed to aid first time buyers with property purchases and in turn this incentive could boost the UK residential property sales market without being of any real use to first-time buyers.

Morgan Stanley have issued a forecast that UK residential property prices are expected to increase between 8% and 13% before the end of 2014 and the bank reckons that its forecast is “supported by government policy”.

The investment bank’s prediction follows a warning by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which says that the Help to Buy scheme offering 95% mortgages, due to launch in January 2014, could pump up UK residential property prices but would not necessarily increase the supply of available residential property.

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Buy-To-Let Mortgage Lending Up 20% Over The Last Year

Buy-To-Let Mortgage Lending Up 20% Over The Last Year

UK Buy-to-let mortgage lending has increased by 20% year-on-year during 2012 to reach its highest level since the UK property crash of 2008.

The appetite for buy-to-let mortgages has been boosted by strong demand from frustrated first time buyers, who end up as tenants as they are unable to get themselves on the property ladder. This strong tenant demand has in turn pushed up private rented sector rental prices as tenants find that they have become financially trapped.

£16.4 Billion (GBP) worth of buy-to-let mortgages have been taken out over the last year, showing a 19% annual increase, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said.

Around £4.6 Billion (GBP) worth of buy-to-let mortgages were advanced in the last three months of 2012, representing a 10% increase on the previous quarter.

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Empty Property Rates - £1.1 Billion Tax Bombshell

Empty Property Rates – £1.1 Billion Tax Bombshell

The taxpayers Alliance have reported that a massive £1.1 Billion (GBP) was paid last year in Business Rates on empty properties, a rise of 19% between 2009/10 and 2011/12

This is the first time that a figure has been calculated for the amount collected in empty property rates since exemptions for empty commercial and industrial properties were abolished at the 2007 Budget.

Before 2007, empty industrial properties were exempt from Business Rates and empty commercial properties were subject to extensive reliefs and reductions.

Apart from a short exemption period and extremely limited reliefs, full Business Rates are now payable on all empty commercial and industrial properties.

With the economic downturn making it increasingly difficult for commercial landlords to find new tenants, this tax has had some devastating effects:

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Help To Buy Could Boost UK Property Market

Help To Buy Could Boost UK Property Market

The Help To Buy mortgage indemnity scheme proposed by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, in the budget announcement made last week is expected to raise both property transaction levels and property prices.

The Help To Buy mortgage indemnity scheme which kicks in next January is designed to generate £3.5 Billion (GBP) of new lending, could be administered by ‘bad banks’ Northern Rock Asset Management and Bradford & Bingley, now in the umbrella of UK Asset Resolution.

Lenders would have to pay to participate in the scheme, but the price has not yet been set.

Estate agents expect Help to Buy to enable people to buy both existing properties and new build homes with 95% mortgages.

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Hype surrounds 2013 Mortgage Figures

Hype surrounds 2013 Mortgage Figures

2013 started with claims that the UK had recorded the best lending on mortgage figures in five years, but these claims by the UK Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) are being disputed.

According to the CML, a total of 38,300 loans were advanced for residential property purchases in January, the highest for the month since 2008 when 47,800 loans were advanced. The January performance came despite a marked drop from December 2012 when 45,900 mortgage loans were advanced.

Now critics have suggested that the CML’s mortgage figures were pure hype and speculation as mortgage approvals, and not actual monetary advances, were actually down in January this year, and no figures were released for the UK Buy To Let mortgage market for the same time frame.

Mortgage figures for approvals on residential property purchases appeared to be up 11% compared with January 2012 when there were 34,600 mortgage loans approved for residential property purchases and activity by first-time buyers and home movers both increased.

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Council of Mortgage Lenders Give Reasons For Optimism In 2013

CML Give Reasons To Stay Positive About UK Property Market In 2013

CML Give Reasons To Stay Positive About UK Property Market In 2013

The UK Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) are more positive about the UK housing market and the wider economy than they were a year ago, despite economic headwinds and downside risks.

A key reason is that mortgage lenders currently face few funding pressures, in part reflecting the governments funding for lending scheme.

Property purchasing activity was more robust than expected in the last quarter of 2012, on the back of better mortgage availability and more realistic property pricing, and the CML expect this to continue over the coming months.

2013 started on a more positive note than a year ago, even though the UK economy has barely grown.

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UK Funding For Lending Scheme Flops

UK Funding For Lending Scheme Flops

The UK Government initiative to get banks lending again has become a bit of a laughing stock according to some economists.

The funding for lending scheme (FLS) was dubbed a “white elephant” after the first data showed that in the three months to the end of September 2012, just £500 Million (GBP) of lending was released by all the 35 banks and lenders signed up for the scheme, which was launched in August this year.

The funding for lending scheme was supposed to reduce borrowing costs for banks and other lenders, who are required to pass on the lower costs to their customers. But so far the lending appears to be lowering mortgage rates rather than helping small businesses.

Only six banks and building societies have used any funds from the FLS in the three months to the end of September 2012 and their net lending – which takes account of loans being repaid – was negative by £1 Billion (GBP) because customers repaid existing loans faster than new loans were granted.

At three banks, more loans were repaid than new loans actually taken out, leading to negative net lending at Royal Bank of Scotland of £642 Million (GBP) and Lloyds Banking Group took £2.7 Billion (GBP) from the economy during the third quarter while Santander removed £3.4 Billion (GBP).

The biggest injection of credit came from Barclays at £3.8 Billion (GBP), whilst Leeds Building Society added £212 Million (GBP) and Nationwide Building Society £1.8 Billion (GBP).

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