Stamp Duty rise won’t kill property investment

On the 1st of April 2016, the “Landlord Tax” or stamp duty surcharge comes into affect of a 3% surcharge for anyone buying a second home or an investment or buy to let property.

However what will be the impact for the property investor? Will it reduce prices or first time buyers? Will the extra cost be passed on to renters? Will the UK property market crash?

Today the ONS released statistics that property prices are rising 6.7% year on year in 2015, and that is 9.4% in the UK. So in effect and extra 3% is the same as if you delay the purchase of your property in London by 4 months, or alternatively you will cover the cost by the increase in prices within 4 months.

Stamp duty increaseWell this is not exactly the case as usually a buy to let investor puts in about 25% deposit, and stamp duty is not covered by the mortgage value, so really the buyer needs that much extra cash available.

In this case an investor may try to pass on the additional cost to the renter. This will be a completely possible strategy and the property market will allow it. However will this make up the difference. For example a residential property yielding 6%, there for a 3% stamp duty surcharge would mean 6 months rent. If the Landlord increases rents by say 10% then it will take 5 years to recover the surcharge.

But, and its a big but, with the FTSE being volatile and the interest rates not likely to rise anywhere near enough to compete with property, an investors best place to invest is still property.

In conclusion the stamp duty surcharge will not really put investors off, it will just increase rents and increase the tax revenue.  

Stamp duty

Do you want to avoid the stamp duty surcharge?

Look into other options for property investment. Contact us we have a number of opportunities where you can invest in property development deals, with profit shares or fixed incomes. Contact info@propvestment.com

 

Sources:

BBC Article

 

Office to residential conversionx

Office to Residential Conversion made permanent

The Prime Minister announced today that the Permitted Development Rights that enabled office to residential conversion without full planning permission is set to be made permanent. The scheme with initially ran from 2013 to May 2016 will be extended indefinitely.

In other boosts for house building today, the PM is also announcing that a temporary rule introduced in May 2013 allowing people to convert disused offices into homes without applying for planning permission will be made a permanent change – after almost 4,000 conversions were given the go ahead between April 2014 to June this year.

This is great news for potential buyers of homes as well as property developers and all professionals connected to the industry. It will mean an flood of new development sites to the market and an increase in available housing stock. This should start to be realised within 12 to 18 months, the usual length of time required to convert a building.

Office blocks are usually in inner city location or near transport links making them ideal locations for residential units. Perfect for young buyers who rely on these links. Furthermore converted building are typically cheaper than new builds and many often come with a character that new builds just do not.

We at PropVestment are actively looking for office sites to convert into residential units, please email nirav@propvestment.com.

Office to residential conversionx

CDM

CDM Regulations 2015

From 6th April 2015, the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 were replaced by the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (the “Regulations”).

The Regulations are intended to be less bureaucratic than the previous regulations and to improve the planning and management of projects from the start.

CDM changes

The Regulations brought about key changes, which include:

  • Introduction of Principal Designers to replace CDM Co-ordinators
  • Inclusion of domestic clients
  • Clients having to undertake more duties
  • Changes in notification thresholds
  • Requirement for all projects to have a written Construction Phase Plan
  • Abolition of the Approved Code of Practice
  • Contractors and designers are to ensure that they have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to fulfil their roles and the person appointing them has to satisfy themselves of this also

CDM 2015 creates a new duty holder, the Principal Designer (PD) 

In many cases this will be the architect who on the majority of projects is appointed first by the client but not always. The HSE think that some designers will not want to take on the functions of the PD and many would not be capable of doing so for all but the smallest of projects.

The PD must be a designer as defined in the Regulations, i.e., anyone who as part of their business (a) prepares or modifies a design; or (b) arranges for, or instructs any person under their control to do so.
A “design” is widely defined to include specifications, bills of quantities and calculations prepared for the purposes of a design.

The HSE consider that “Chartered Surveyors and Technicians” are also “designers” under CDM 2015. Equally, anyone who selects a product for use or develops a detailed design which is then manufactured for a project is also treated as a designer according to the guidance.

A six-month transitional period is in place from 6 April – 6 October 2015.

What does this mean for current construction projects during this transitional period?

In this period, special provisions will apply before the Regulations take full effect across the board. Such provisions apply during the transitional period as follows:

  1. Projects where as at 6 April 2015, the Construction Phase has started, no CDM Co-ordinator is in place and where there is more than one contractor:
  • a Principal Designer may be appointed in writing by the Client (but this is not obligatory);
  • a Principal Contractor must be appointed in writing by the Client as soon as reasonably practicable;
  • the Principal Contractor must draw up a Construction Phase Plan, or make arrangements for one to be drawn up as soon as reasonably practicable;
  • where the Client has not appointed a Principal Designer, the Principal Contractor must also prepare the Health and Safety file as soon as reasonably practicable and ensure that it is reviewed, revised and updated from time to time;
  • where a Client has failed to appoint a Principal Contractor, in commercial projects, the Client must fulfil the duties of Principal Contractor and in domestic projects, the Principal Contractor is deemed to be the contractor “in control of the construction phase”.
  1. Projects where as at 6 April 2015, a CDM Co-ordinator has been appointed by the Client and where there is more than one contractor:
  • the CDM Co-ordinator appointment continues until a Principal Designer is appointed by the Client;
  • the deadline for the Client to appoint a Principal Designer is 6 October 2015 (unless the project comes to an end before that date);
  • until such appointment is made, the CDM Co-ordinator will take on additional duties as set out in Schedule 4(5) of the Regulations which largely cover the role of the intended Principal Designer;
  • where the Client fails to appoint a Principal Designer by 6 October 2015, the Client is to take on the responsibilities relating to the Health and Safety Plan and must assist the Principal Contractor in preparing the Construction Phase Plan.
  1. Projects with only one contractor:
  • there is no requirement for the appointment of a Principal Designer;
  • the contractor must draw up a Construction Phase Plan or make arrangements for one to be drawn up as soon as reasonably practicable.

Make sure you are CDM 2015 compliant. These regulation changes effect the smallest projects to the largest. At PropVestment we can advise and recommend professionals who can ensure you are compliant and can take on the Principal Designer role for you.

 

 

Buy to Let mortgages

UK Property Market Update – Winter 2013

The UK property bubble is building

  • The average family home is up £5,583 and London properties have increased by more than £7,000.UK property prices went up by £7,430 in October
  • Average sale price in London is now £404,199
  • Help to Buy scheme is inflating prices
  • Rents increase 11% to £785pm, 41% of the average UK wage.

UK rents

UK property Sale prices

Average UK Property Prices In London, where the average sale price is higher than ever, 14 people compete for every property.

Mortgage applications rose by 6% in October, and almost double 2012 numbers. It comes as the Council of Mortgage Lenders said last week the number of homes sold this year will be more than one million for the first time since the financial crisis began in 2007.

The government Help to Buy scheme is pushing prices up.

Out of the 5,375 sold so far, the highest number of Help to Buy sales have been in Leeds, Wiltshire, Milton Keynes and Reading.

The average price of a UK property bought under the Help to Buy scheme was £194,167, with an average equity loan of £38,703.

UK property transactions

Critics warned the UK-wide second phase of the scheme, which began last month and is not restricted to new-builds, would cause a housing bubble.

It guarantees 15 % of the value of the home loan.

After almost coming off the market, Buy to Let mortgages are also being approved strongly. Landlords and investors are buying up and completing deals to keep up with the increasing rent demand and to cash in on the rental increases. This is a very encouraging sign for property investment.

However as the final graphic shows there is still not enough supply in the market, especially in London where there are almost 3 offers for every sale.

PropVestment’s thoughts

Offers and Sales

Yes the UK property market is picking up and in fact picking up a little too fast. But this is mainly due to the Help to Buy scheme which is resulting in unrealistic implications on price and the market. The only ones to benefit are the banks and house builders. First time buyers, buying under the scheme face higher interest rates compared to traditional mortgage products.   
The market right now is too competitive and sellers can take advantage. We do however have concerns that many first time buyers under Help to Buy will suffer from negative equity in years to come once the Government pulls the plug on the scheme and prices fall back to their realistic, natural and sustainable level.

Buy to Let mortgages

Source: Daily Mail

PropVestment 2013 – UK Property Market Outlook

UK Property 2013 – House Prices, Lending, Supply, Rents…

There is always much speculation about how the UK property market will fair when we start a new year. How will the market correlate to the economy as a whole, and the biggest question of all is whether its recovering from the credit crunch?

  • House Prices
  • Lending
  • Supply
  • Rents

UK House Prices in 2013

House prices are low currently and the advise from PropVestment is that property prices will not stay low forever. Simple demand and supply, population is growing faster than new supply, together with smaller family units means shortage. Further lending is still tight but there is major pressure to improve. If you can afford to buy now, do it.

Today Rightmove are claiming that sellers are pricing 0.2% higher in 2013

UK Property Lending in 2013

Investment property services

Lending to first time home buyers in the UK increased 11% in 2012 compared to 2011, however this is still considerably lower than pre credit crunch. There is constant pressure on lenders to lend more but the criteria remains tight. Hopefully 2013 will mean more realistic and universal schemes rolled out by lenders, with more scope than last years NewBuy and FirstBuy.

Read more

UK Residential Commercial

Happy Diwali Property Investor

Read more

Tesco Mortgage Buy to Let

Supermarket Tesco launches 1.99% Mortgage – every little helps

Tesco Bank launches fixed 1.99% Mortgage

Tesco Mortgage Key Facts

  • Tesco Mortgage Buy to Let1.99% Fixed until end 2014
  • 4.24% There after
  • 4.00% APR
  • £995 Arrangement Fee (£195 Booking Fee, £800 Product fee)
  • 60% Maximum LTV (Loan to Value)
  • More suited for Remortgages than First Timer Buyers

 

Tesco Bank 1.99% Mortgage

Read more

Below market value investment property london

What the Change to Squatters Rights Law Means for Property Owners

Below market value investment property london

The controversial and much debated Squatters Rights Laws have, as of 31st September 2012, been amended to offer more protection to property owners.  First introduced in section 6 of the Criminal Law Act 1977, the laws were designed to prevent landlords from evicting tenants by use of violence or force.  They dictate that anyone gaining entry to a property against the wishes of the occupier, including the owner of the property, is in most instances committing a criminal offence.

Whilst the intentions of the Squatters Rights Laws may have been honourable, they have meant that the homeless have been able to take advantage of unoccupied properties and a report by charity Crisis in 2011 revealed that 39% of homeless people had resorted to squatting at some point.  In order to lawfully remove squatters, landlords have been left facing a legal process that can costs thousands and take months.  Until now that is.

Read more

October Below Market Value Property Deals

London Investment Property Deals : Below Market Value High Yield Properties

London Investment Property Deals

Dear PropVestor

With Autumn coming along there has been a slight revival of the property market, albeit not a substantial one.

Nevertheless being in touch with the right sources there is always a DEAL available for you. Here is a selection of investment deals for you, just a few we have on our books right now.

DEAL ONE: 2 x two Bed Maisonette in Enfield

Read more

PropVestment in Telegraph Property

Ex-council homes: how to buy a bargain – Telegraph

PropVestment mentioned in the Telegraph Property section: Why Council homes are a bargain

By  7:00AM BST 03 Sep 2012

A new proposal to sell off council housing in some of Britain’s best postcode areas could be a once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity. It is no time for snobbery, says Graham Norwood.

Ex-council house in Essex

This 17th-century former hunting lodge in South Ockendon, Essex, used to be three council homes, and is today a six-bedroom house. It’s on the market through Fine (fine.co.uk) for £449,995.

It is one of the biggest property stories of the year, and an opportunity for bargain hunters like no other. When the Telegraph published an article about selling off council houses, by Neil O’Brien, the director of Policy Exchange, it had no idea what a storm it would create.

Last week’s report argued that if councils sold all the homes which become free in an average year, they could raise £4.5bn in revenue. This money would then be ploughed back into 170,000 new-build properties in cheaper parts of the country. The story provoked plenty of debate. Grant Shapps, the Minister for Housing, called the idea “blindingly obvious”. David Cameron said the proposal was “certainly something [councils] should look at”. Not everyone was happy: some Labour MPs warned that it risked creating ghettoes and ruining local diversity.

But aside from the political to-ing and fro-ing, what does it all really mean for homeowners? If cheap houses become available in some of Britain’s best areas, it could provide golden opportunities for canny investors. Certainly, it is time to end the snobbery and acknowledge the truth. Many local authority homes are fashionable, built to last and brilliantly located. For every hideous tower of cheaply built flats requiring demolition, there are spacious low-rise mansion blocks. These date from the public sector heyday of the Thirties, now considered retro-chic.

Then there are thousands of Victorian and Georgian houses, originally built for private sale. Councils bought them as part of grandiose regeneration schemes, many of which came to nothing. But a sprinkling of 21st-century TLC would return them to their former glory, or even better.

There are substantial profits to be made, as has been seen in areas where council properties have been sold in the past. Camberwell is a good example. A two-bedroom council flat bought here for £44,000 in 1994 recently sold for £214,000. During the intervening years, the area has come up in the world. Where once it was slightly grubby, it is now a fashionable village, home to the musician Florence Welch, as well as actresses Lorraine Chase and Jenny Agutter. If a new sell-off becomes policy, there may be thousands of homes coming on the market in the most desirable parts of the country. Often at bargain-basement prices.

In the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, for instance, the average flat costs at least £967,000 and a typical semi-detached house costs more than £12.5m, according to Land Registry figures. Even in this salubrious enclave, however, a quarter of homes are categorised as social housing: owned directly by the council or through housing associations. In Brighton and Hove, there are similar opportunities. A typical detached house costs almost £461,000, and a flat will set you back £197,000. Yet one in every seven properties is in the social sector. Here and elsewhere, a sell-off would mean ex-local authority properties being marketed at prices lower than those for comparable private homes. There would be rich pickings, for those in the know.

“Even in prime condition, ex-council properties sell for 20 per cent less than a similar home next door because of the stigma,” says Geoff Tanner, a private property consultant based in Cambridgeshire. “If it is in poor condition, it could be 30 per cent less. The proposed sell-off would represent a great deal for buyers who get in quick.” Some councils are already encouraging tenants to free-up larger properties. In Devon, more than £700,000 worth of cash incentives have been paid to tenants. This has released 330 homes in areas such as Exeter, Plymouth, rural Devon and the coastal South Hams.


This one-bed, ex-council flat is in Drury Lane in Covent Garden. It is being sold for £437,000 through Chesterton Humberts.

Westminster Council, in central London, has set up CityWest Homes Residential, a service specialising in marketing council homes. Its website, cwhr.co.uk, advertises flats to rent in areas such as Bayswater and says homes for sale are “coming soon”.

With all this activity already ongoing, it’s no surprise that estate agents have greeted the prospect of a sell-off with open arms. They highlight the advantages of council-owned buildings compared with those which have been squeezed by the private market. “Council properties are often well-built with good-size rooms and communal gardens,” says Christopher Saye of Chesterton Humberts. “Red-brick period blocks don’t even look like council properties and generate plenty of interest. They are cheaper than comparable private developments, with far lower service charges.”

During the Eighties, Margaret Thatcher’s Right To Buy initiative allowed tenants to purchase their homes with a discount of up to 70 per cent, if they had lived there for two years or more. Many councils also offered 100 per cent mortgages to encourage buyers. The scheme boosted Britain’s home ownership level from 57 per cent in 1980 to 68 per cent in 2000.

But the sort of sell-off proposed by Policy Exchange would be even more dramatic. It would be an open field, with anyone entitled to buy the flats. Not just those already living in them. “It’s simply good asset management. Some local authorities do this already. We’ve sold properties in high-value areas at auction on behalf of authorities,” explains Yolande Barnes, head of research at Savills and one of Britain’s leading housing experts.

Clearly, there is no shortage of enthusiasts for the quality and good value offered in ex-local authority housing. Nirav Shah, 24, bought a three-bedroom apartment in Waterloo, central London, in 2008 when he was a student. “My father and I looked at lots of properties and none even came close to the former council flat for location, space or condition,” he explains. He now runs a property investment firm called propvestment.com. “I no longer live in the flat, but I rent it to other students. It has been let permanently since I left. Ex-council is a perfect investment,” he adds.

His apartment was one of many built to Parker Morris standards, a planning regime which until the Eighties imposed minimum sizes on public-sector architects and builders. Parker Morris stated that a one-bedroom council flat built for up to two people should have a minimum of 495 sq ft. Try finding that in a modern private flat today. The standards have even got a thumbs-up from London Mayor Boris Johnson, too. After taking office, Johnson promised to “re-establish space standards promoted by the visionary planner Sir Parker Morris”. He argued that this was the only way to “build for the long term. Buildings that people will want to keep for 100 years and not tear down in 30.” Space, location and value: the council-house dream seems almost too good to be true.

But while many are in favour of selling council homes, there are still issues to resolve. “One concern might be tenant displacement,” says Jennet Siebrits of CBRE, a consultancy advising developers and public bodies on housing. She fears new homes built with money from a sell-off would have to be in cheaper areas. “We would need careful analysis about which parts of the UK have the highest demand for social housing,” she says.

There are also concerns that moving council tenants away from their places of work could create pockets of unemployment, and ruin the mix of people which makes Britain so vibrant. Policy Exchange believes, however, that these short-term problems would be outweighed by the benefits of creating half a million new homes in three years.

So will it actually happen? With a Cabinet reshuffle imminent and a relaunch of the Coalition likely at this month’s party conferences, there is an appetite for radical initiatives. And no sector needs them more badly than housing. A boom of new construction would create homes for the needy and jobs for builders, as well as opportunities for people looking to get on the property ladder.

A social housing revolution may be just the economic shot in the arm the country wants. And for keen-eyed individuals, it could be the investment of a lifetime.

Buying an ex-council property: the pros and cons

Pros: 
Price – they usually sell at 20 per cent less than comparable private properties, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Investment – ex-council houses are good for buy-to-let landlords wanting more for their money.
Location – ex-council property is often very central, perfect for transport and nightlife.

Cons:
Outside – tower blocks can look daunting from the street.
Communal areas – there can be disputes over charges and responsibilities if some flats in a block are publicly owned and others private.
Ceiling price – until the stigma dies, ex-council homes will sell at a discount compared to private homes.

Original article link http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/9508685/Ex-council-homes-how-to-buy-a-bargain.html

OTHER MUST READS: PropVestment in Daily Mail