The Battersea Power Station developer is seeking approval to reduce the number of top-end properties in the development and offer more smaller, less expensive homes… protecting the price per square foot… following a 19% slump in demand in the fourth quarter. More here.
significant reductions in capital gains tax (the lowest dropping from 18% to 10%, the top rate from 28% to 20%), but the reductions do NOT apply to second homes, giving landlords a punitive 8% CGT surcharge over other investors. Taken together with new stamp duty rules, it means landlords will be paying significant tax surcharges at both ends of a transaction.
the suggestion that investors with more than 15 properties would avoid the stamp duty levy turned out to be a nonsense. And it’s been clarified that corporate investors will also have to pay the higher rate.
however the “breathing space” for movers accidentally caught out with two properties (while waiting for one to sell) has been extended from 18 months to 36 months.
So… another bad budget for landlords. And before tenants begin to celebrate, remember there are two logical outcomes when the Government makes the sector, as it stands, unprofitable. Landlords drop out, reducing the number of rentals available, resulting in more competition and higher rents. Or they say, and make it profitable, by increasing rents.
How could Telford Homes have got the vibe so badly wrong in its marketing video for the Vibe development in Dalston? Quick summary… fey trust fund princess in a flowery dress marvels at a whitewashed playground version of the capital, packed with scrumptious cakes, expensive furniture shops and fascinating hipsters. But it’s the “whitewashed” element that’s drawings the most attention. But I spotted a non-white person, at 4.08! I think?
Vamoove is a brand new international property portal launching at the end of the month, but what’s different about this one is that only financially vetted, pre-qualified purchasers with funds and a solicitor in place will get beyond the pretty pictures to the vendor or agent details. So window shopping’s allowed, time-wasting isn’t. The site will be open to private sellers, too… providing a kind of “off market” market. A good idea? it’s a good story, but I’d be interested in being privy to the mood-music among estate agents (who Vamoove needs to attract to pay the bills… listings aren’t free). How much time-wasting really goes on? How many agents want to (pay to) put obstacles between a listing and their phone number/email address? Delving a little deeper into parts of the site that are accessible before launch, it looks as if Vamoove is aimed at investors rather than movers. With its international reach (a drop down menu lists pretty much every nation in the world), it will be interesting to see how investors and the website negotiate the different markets, taxes, and customs. More here.
The first series was informative, infuriating and often moving. It’s back, tonight, with a close-up look at the injustices suffered by both tenants and landlords in an over-heated and competitive market. Channel 5, tonight, 9pm.
Revenue up, 4.1%, but profits down, -2.6% after significant branch expansion. They’re reporting growth in every sector (sales, letting, mortgage), and a 13.4% increase on proposed dividends. More detail, here.
According to Zoopla, properties on the Crossrail line have increased in value by 52% since construction began in May 2009, with homes in Liverpool St, Paddington, Ealing Broadway and West Ealing, Acton, Forest Gate and Bond Street all seeing gains of greater than 60%. What does that compare to, on average, in the UK in the same time frame? Roughly 30%.
In campaigners have been scaring London homeowners with tales of a property crash in the capital. Out campaigners have been luring wannabe first-time buyers with the promise of a long-awaited property price correction. But they’re both wrong, according to Ross Clark, writing in the Spectator, who points out that only a small proportion of the foreign money jacking up London prices comes from inside the EU, and that fears of EU institutions packing up and leaving are wildly exaggerated. More here.
According to a survey by the National Landlords’ Association, almost 80% of UK tenants are happy in their rental. Figures vary with regions, unsurprisingly, with Wales coming out top at 92%. Where’s London? Unsurprisingly, perhaps, where competition for homes drives up prices and standards of living are affected by cramped city conditions, the figure drops to 72%. More here.
That’s according to the NAEA’s January figures, with the number of properties per branch dropping to just 33. Meanwhile - possibly influenced by the second/investment home Stamp Duty surcharge deadline - demand surged by 21% December-to-January. More here.