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Landlords Could Be Taxed Out Of The Market

Landlords Could Be Taxed Out Of The Market

Conservatives Set About Raising Increased
Tax Revenue From Landlords

Before the general election the Conservatives were the only political party to not openly target landlords and property investors with manifesto rhetoric, making them the property professional’s choice for power.

Even before the budget statement was delivered by Mr Osborne, there was plenty of press coverage about the generous tax treatment enjoyed by private rental sector (PRS) landlords and buy to let property investors.

So it was of little surprise that the Chancellor chose to turn to the private rental sector in order to raise some additional revenue for the government.

Conservatives Vowed To Leave PRS Landlords AloneSpotlight predicted that this would happen after the Conservatives were elected, and this year’s summer budget could be just the tip of the iceberg.

George Osborne before the  summer 2015 budget announcement George Osborne’s post election Budget announcement, made earlier in July, contained two  important changes to buy-to-let taxation that will impact on portfolio landlords and higher rate  tax payers.

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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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Property Optimism Falls To Lowest Level For 18 Months

Property Optimism Falls To Lowest Level For 18 Months

Property Optimism Falls To Lowest Level For 18 Months

UK property price optimism among private rental sector landlords and residential property owners has dropped to the lowest recorded level for 18 months after buy to let mortgage lending in January was reported to be decidedly sluggish.

Traditionally, the UK property market generally experiences a slow start that incrementally builds to a summer buying frenzy before reaching another plateau and then a further period of increase followed by a gradual easing at the end of the year.

The latest Halifax House Price Index (HPI) found that UK property prices increased by just 2% in January 2015, reaching a new UK average property price of £193,130 (GBP).

Combined with figures released by the Department of Communities and Local Government, showing a slowdown in the number of new homes being built, and it is clear why landlord and residential property owners optimism has fallen.

60% of landlords and property owners, surveyed for the lender’s latest housing market confidence tracker report, expected the average property price to be significantly higher in 12 month’s time.

This means that house price optimism has fallen by 10 points from 62 to +52, the lowest level of consumer confidence since June 2013, when 52% of private rental sector landlords and residential property owners expected a large rise in property prices.

So what’s different?

  • In June 2013 UK inflation was at 2.9% compared to the current 0.3%
  • Employment was just over 30 Million compared to today’s figure of 30.9 Million
  • Mortgage lending levels were at £15 Billion (GBP) compared to the current £17 Billion (GBP).

Despite the fact that the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2014 increased by 2.6% and all members of the Bank of England’s (BoE) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to hold interest rates at 0.5%, the dip in confidence levels over UK property prices reflects public concern over the UK economy in general.

Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at the Halifax said that “More than half of consumers still believe UK property prices will be higher than they are now in a year’s time; however optimism has continued to weaken. Despite this we’re now seeing a return to the seasonal trend for house price activity”.

But he pointed out that of more concern are the figures from the Department of Communities and Local Government showing a slowdown in the number of new homes being built. ‘It’s widely acknowledged that the UK needs an increase in the amount of new housing being built,’ said McKinlay.

‘The Lloyds Banking Group Commission on Housing targeted 2 to 2.5 million new homes built by 2025 new homes to be built before 2025. If we are to address demand the increase in new homes coming onto the market needs to be sustainable,’ he explained.

UK Property Investment Increases 8% In A Year

UK Property Investment Increases 8% In A Year

UK Property Investments Rise By 8% During 2014

UK property investment is booming again, thanks in part to the Government changes to the way pensions are controlled. The changes allow interested property investors to release pension funds for property purchases early, because bricks and mortar continue to offer a greater return than pension funds currently provide.

Property investment in the UK is becoming even more popular with the number of property investors increasing by 8% during the past year, according to data recently released by letting agent, Ludlow Thompson, with landlord numbers rising to approximately 1.63 million controlling approximately 3.1 million private rental sector (PRS) properties in the UK. 

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Bank Of England States That 2% Interest Rate Rise Would Put 480,000 Property Owners Into Mortgage Arrears

Bank Of England States That 2% Interest Rate Rise Would Put 480,000 Property Owners Into Mortgage Arrears

Bank Of England States That 2% Interest Rate Rise Would Put 480,000 Property Owners Into Mortgage Arrears

UK property buyers have an average mortgage debt of around £83,000 (GBP) plus many will have unsecured loans of up to £8,000 (GBP), however many are typically earning less than £43,000 (GBP) a year

The Bank of England has warned that up to half a million property owners could be at risk of falling into mortgage arrears once interest rates rise from their historic 0.5% low.

The BoE said the number of UK property owners expected to run into difficulties would increase by a third to approximately 480,000 in the event of a two-percentage-point increase in the cost of borrowing.

The BoE stressed the proportion of borrowers having trouble paying their mortgage loans should remain well below the record mortgage arrears levels of the early 1990’s, when the UK suffered its worst post-war property crash, provided that earnings incomes rose alongside interest rates.

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HMRC Tax To Deter Foreign Investment In UK

HMRC Tax To Deter Foreign Investment In UK

Estate Agents Warn That New
HMRC Tax Announcement

Will Put Off Willing Overseas Property Buyers

 

The announcement made by HMRC about altering the Government position on taxation of using foreign capital as collateral for borrowings could have a significant impact on the residential market in UK cities, especially London, according one estate agent.

Cluttons’ Head of Residential Development, Julian Briant, reckons that the new rules over the use of foreign capital in order to be able to obtain a loan in the UK will now result in a taxable remittance, making mortgages less attractive for investors hoping to use money held abroad as security.

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Bank Of England Governor Hints At Earlier Base Rate Hike

Bank Of England Governor Hints At Earlier Base Rate Hike

Is Mark Carney Eager To Raise Interest Rates?

The Governor of the Bank of England (BoE), Mark Carney, has drawn further criticism from economists after giving another mixed signal on the timing of any base rate increase away from the current historic low.

In an interview with the Sunday Times newspaper Mr Carney took great care to big up the health of the nation’s economy and insisted that the Bank of England would not wait for employed peoples wages to catch-up with the cost of living before hiking interest rates.

Mr Carney told the Sunday Times: “Wherever the finish line was in the depths of the crisis, we are much more than halfway towards that finish line now. The expansion is proceeding, momentum is more assured. The very fact we have had consistent quarters of growth in line with, or slightly better than, our forecasts shows that. We have to have the confidence that prospective real wages are going to be growing sustainably, before raising interest rates, we don’t have to wait for the fact of that turn to raise them.”

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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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UKAR Chief Executive Warns That Over 20,000 Customers Could Face Mortgage Arrears If Interest Rates Rise This YearUKAR Chief Executive Warns That Over 20,000 Customers Could Face Mortgage Arrears If Interest Rates Rise This Year

The chief executive of UK Asset Resolution (UKAR), who are winding down the loans of Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley, affectionately known as “Britain’s Bad Banks”, has warned that thousands of its customers could be pushed back into arrears if there is a rise in Bank of England (BoE) interest rates.

UK Asset Resolution (UKAR), seventh-biggest mortgage lender said last week that they had repaid £6.2 Billion (GBP) to the UK Government in the 15 months to the end of March 2014, meaning it had so far paid back £10.4 Billion (GBP) of the £48.7 Billion (GBP) it owed.

However, if there is a rate rise it could potentially make it harder for taxpayers to get their money back after bailing out the bad banks.

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Demand For High Risk Mortgages Reaches New High

Demand For High Risk Mortgages Reaches New High

More property buyers with small deposits are taking out high risk loans worth over 3.5 times their take home income

The number of residential property buyers who can only raise a small deposit of less than 10%, and who don’t qualify for the Government’s Help To Buy scheme, are taking out high risk loans worth over 3.5 times their take home income, has risen to its highest level for over five years.

New figures published by the Bank of England (BoE) show that the number of high risk mortgages being taken out by property investors and existing landlords has increased in the first three months of 2014.

Mortgage lending to new borrowers who had less than a 10% deposit and a Loan-To-Income (LTI) multiple of more than 3.5 times a single person income, or 2.75 times for joint income borrowers, has increased to 2.6%, the highest recorded figure since the last quarter of 2008.

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