While fixing the broken housing market was by no means the central tenet of the Chancellor’s last Budget pre-Brexit, it still included several initiatives designed to increase house building and support first time buyers.
First-time buyers will benefit from a two-year extension to the Help to Buy equity loan scheme. Originally due to end in April 2021 the scheme has been extended until the end of March 2023.
In addition, SDLT relief for first-time buyers has been extended to those purchasing a shared-ownership property up to £500,000 and will be applied retrospectively to purchases since November 2017.
In terms of house building, an additional £500m has been allocated to the Housing Investment Fund to enable a further 650,000 new homes to be built, while the housing revenue cap for Councils has been removed. Small house builders will be encouraged through a guarantee scheme while an official response to the Letwin review will be published in the new year.
So on Wednesday 31st, Lettings Agent today wrote an article titled ”Growing fear of hidden threat to the rental sector in Budget small print” So the article is concerned with the measure which means that from April 2020 the Capital Gains Tax ‘exempt period’ before a property is sold will be cut from 18 months to nine months, subject to exemptions for disabled homeowners or those moving into care, for whom the period will be 36 months. The article quotes some leading lettings agents and quotes Dorian Gonsalves, chief executive of Belvoir as saying And I quote: “It’s very interesting that the Chancellor made reference to the fact that CGT is currently not levied on the gain of main residences, and that this situation will remain unchanged. The fact that CGT was mentioned at all in this context could perhaps hint towards a future decision by the government to levy CGT on main residences in the future” If you’re a Landlord, I’m sure you’ve had a very close relationship with your tax adviser and accountant over the past few years. I’d love to hear from you on how these tax changes are already affecting you, and what your strategy is, moving forward?
Online Agents maybe struggling? November Ist – Estate Agent Today reported that’s Purplebricks’ share price – which earlier this year was approaching an extraordinary 500p mark – sank another 3.6 per cent and ended trading on the London market at 177.7p. They quoted the Motley Fool investment blog, which claims Purplebricks has under-performed the FTSE 100 by more than 40 per cent so far this year as saying, and I quote “A slowdown in the housing market has caused investors to become increasingly cautious despite the continued transition of the estate agency industry towards online”. In the same article they reported that Emoov was up for sale; the Sky story which broke the news described Emoov as showing, and again I quote “signs that it’s facing a cash squeeze.” Sky, citing unnamed sources, said the high street estate agency Foxtons, was in talks as a potential buyer. You may recall that Connells had closed its Online brand Hatched about 5 weeks ago saying that they didn’t feel that online was a sustainable model What are your thoughts on this? Please leave your comments below. Are you thinking of selling your property soon? Would you have used an Online Agent? Even though I’d class myself as a traditional estate agent, in my previous estate agency business I set-up a very amateurish version of an online model because I could see its value to a certain type of audience and I would agree that there were a lot of agents stuck in the past. I’ve got a lot of friends who work with Purplebricks and Yopa and EasyProperty – so I’d genuinely want to hear your thoughts.