Why letting agents need to be ready for a challenging market this autumn
15 August 2018 4425 Views
The buy-to-let sector, which has been under sustained pressure for a number of years now thanks to tax changes designed to make second homes less appealing, could be coming under attack again according to a leading political commentator.
James Forsyth, political editor of The Spectator magazine, recently wrote in a guest column for The Sun newspaper that this autumn’s Budget could see the introduction of yet more stamp duty charges on buy-to-let purchases.
In April 2016, then-Chancellor George Osborne introduced the controversial 3% additional surcharge on second and buy-to-let homes, while a year later the phasing out of mortgage interest tax relief started in earnest.
Now, Forsyth believes the government is planning further stamp duty changes for the buy-to-let market. With the Treasury looking to raise money wherever it can, Forsyth – who is known to have influential sources in key government circles – says one option being considered is a further rise in the stamp duty rate for buy-to-let properties.
The thinking behind this, he says, is to raise money for the Exchequer while also putting a dampener on house prices.
Tom Newton Dunn, The Sun’s political editor, meanwhile said doubt had been cast on whether the extra 3% surcharge on buy-to-let purchases had actually achieved its intention of cooling the buy-to-let market, which is still being fuelled by very low interest rates.
While buy-to-let mortgages now account for less than 13% of all new loans, down from 17% in 2015, the number of buy-to-let landlords in the UK hit an all-time high of 2.5million in the last tax year, which very much suggests people are not being put off.
The government remains non-committal, but if the speculation becomes reality the buy-to-let market could be in for a challenging few months of change and readjustment.
As a letting agent, you need to be prepared for the possibility of this new landscape by having the best processes in place to ensure you can help landlords/investors understand and overcome any alterations.
Excellent, intuitive property software will help you to achieve that; at the click of a button, from anywhere in the world. Gnomen can provide exactly that with our all-in-one, cloud-based system, while our websites will ensure you soar above the competition.
Enjoyed what you’ve read? Check out our latest news articles here.
Is home purchase via blockchain...
Why has Upad gone down?...
Why agents need to warn...
Attracting genuine movers – why...