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April 29, 2016

Next Mayor of London must boost housing to ensure the Capital maintains its global reputation

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 9:09 am

The Mayor of London is one of the most powerful people in the Capital when it comes to the city’s property market. The Mayor is able to intervene and approve developments of “potential strategic importance to London” and influence the London Plan, a citywide planning rule book that must be adhered to, as well as several other powers. What’s more, London tends to be a testing ground for government policies before they are rolled out more widely nationally. So the successes or failures of the next Mayor’s policies could well influence the direction of national housing policy.

The average property price in London is £534,785 according to the most recent House Price Index from the Land Registry, an increase of 13.9% annually – both a far higher average price and annual increase than the other regions. Interestingly however, when current mayor Boris Johnson came into power in May 2008, the average house price in London was only £351,704 – an increase of 52% in eight years. The reason for this substantial rise in value is basic economics: supply and demand. There quite simply isn’t enough housing in the Capital to meet the demand. Both of the main London Mayoral candidates, Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith, have prioritised housing in their manifestos and they are agreed that we need more homes, but each differs in their proposed ways of achieving this.

In order to get London building Sadiq Khan proposes bringing forward more land from public bodies like Transport for London. He also focuses on affordability specifically and proposes to set an affordability target for all new homes built, saying that 50% ought to be genuinely affordable. He is especially keen to tackle so-called buy-to-leave and give priority to first-time-buyers and local tenants to buy new homes.

Zac Goldsmith on the other hand proposes doubling home building to 50,000 a year by 2020, ensuring that all development is in keeping with the local area; giving Londoners the first choice to buy new homes built in the Capital and ensuring a good mix between rental and ownership tenures.

Whichever way the vote goes when Londoners cast their ballot papers next week, those with the power to do so need to ensure that London maintains its panache and its reputation as a global economic powerhouse. Quite frankly, this is driven by the calibre, skills and vibrancy of the people living and working there. A good choice of homes, across sale, rental and alternative tenures, which are not out of reach for the majority of budgets, is key to ensuring this.

Nick Leeming, Chairman

April 1, 2016

Stamp duty reforms won’t deter investors as charges will be negated by capital growth within a year

Filed under: Latest News — Instinctif Partners @ 12:01 pm

The proposed reform to stamp duty for second homes likely won’t deter prospective investors judging by the analysis we’ve recently produced. Despite the rush of investors looking to capitalise ahead of the deadline on the 1st of April, our research shows that the majority of investors will see that property price inflation, within a year or less, will more than compensate them for their entire stamp duty bill – even with the 3% surcharge.

It’s likely that the biggest losers of the stamp duty reform will actually be tenants as landlords pass on their additional costs to rental prices. The table below shows how buy-to-let purchasers in eight of the ten regions will find that capital gains within a year of purchase will negate all stamp duty costs should properties continue to grow at their current rate. The only regions where predicted capital gains on an average priced home do not eclipse stamp duty costs, are the North East and North West of the UK.

The government, through its new stamp duty surcharge, is trying to make the playing field more even between property investors and first-time buyers by eating into landlords’ profits. From a landlord’s perspective it appears as though UK institutions are out to get them. Rather than this continued assault against landlords however, it would be better to address the shortage of stock in the UK through a long-term plan for the UK property market which looks beyond the next parliamentary period. The unintended long term consequence of numerous policies seeking to deter buy-to-let landlords is that this investment option becomes unattractive, as uncertainty dogs the market, leaving this country of a shortage of rental stock.table