Pre-Budget Property Market Snapshot

Posted on 22 Oct, 2018

The property market is affected by many factors, including the political landscape. We take a look at the latest property news ahead of the Autumn Budget. 

A new tax break for landlords?

Landlords who sell their buy-to-let properties to ‘generation rent’ tenants may be in line for a new tax break. The Chancellor is considering scrapping the payment of capital gains tax for landlords who sell a property to incumbent tenants who have been living in one of their properties for at least three years. The idea has been floated after figures suggest 40% of young adults are unable to buy a home of their own, and the initiative could be announced in the Budget later this month. Currently capital gains tax is currently paid as 28% of any profit a landlord makes from a sale. The proposed relief would see the tax saving split equally between the landlord and the tenant.

International buyers hit by additional pre-Budget levy

Overseas buyers and in the Government firing line yet again after Prime Minister Theresa May outlined a new tax. Downing Street used a York University study to illustrate its point that it was too easy for non UK residents who don’t pay tax to buy in the country. The study found 13 per cent of new London homes were bought by non-residents between 2014 and 2016.

Individuals and companies not paying UK tax or living in the country will be subject to a new stamp duty of up to three per cent, which will be applied on top of existing rates. The proceeds – expected to be between £40 million and £120 million, depending on the tax applied - have been earmarked for schemes in the Government's rough sleeping strategy.

More people pushed towards renting

Increasing house prices and wage growth that has failed to keep pace has been blamed for a slide in homeownership levels. Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) says only 60% of young adults aged 25-34 could afford to buy the cheapest house in their area with a 10% deposit and borrowing 4.5 times their salary. This compares to a figure of more than 90% in 1996. After adjusting for inflation, the average house price in England has risen by 173% since 1997, compared with increases in young adults’ real incomes of only 19%.

House price latest – small gains

Nationwide’s latest house prince index, reflecting data from September 2018, revealed house prices rose a negligible amount during the month. Although growth was pegged back to just 0.3%, it is a reverse of fortunes as house prices declined 0.5% in August, according the building society’s figures. The statistics also showed that the UK’s annual house price growth was sitting at 2%, with weak spots in The North, where year-on-year prices were actually down 1.7% during the third quarter of 2018.


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