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Recent Tax Changes Hit Buy-to-Let Sector Hard

2nd March 2018

Recent Tax Changes Hit Buy-to-Let Sector Hard A recent article in the Daily Mail reports that over the past two years, investments in the buy-to-let sector have plummeted by 80%. Figures released by the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) demonstrate that buy-to-let investments dropped substantially from £25billion in 2015 to £5billion last year and have surpassed the decrease in investment level seen directly after the credit crisis in 2008. Government tax reforms for landlords such as the scrapping of the “wear and tear allowance” and the phased retraction of tax relief on mortgage interest for people paying higher levels of income tax have had a dramatic effect on the profits for landlords. In addition, the stamp duty surcharge of 3% payable on second (or more) properties has led to many landlords in Kent selling their buy-to-let properties or reducing their portfolios. Mortgage Lenders Require Higher Rent Returns As well as tax changes, mortgage lenders are becoming more cautious when it comes to buy-to-let lenders as many landlords have arrears on their buy-to-let mortgages. It’s been reported that there were around 5000 buy-to-let mortgages with arrears of 2.5% or more of the mortgage balance in the last quarter of 2017, an increase of 2% in the final quarter of 2016. There were also around 1,200 with arrears of 10% or more – an increase of 20% year on year. Landlords now need to be able to cover 145% of mortgage payments through rental income, which given the high value of property price in Medway towns can often be problematic, particularly for those starting out on their buy-to-let journey or those wishing to expand their portfolio in Kent due to high house prices. Still a Large Demand for Private Rental Accommodation With so many landlords now reconsidering their investments, there is concerned that tenants may face future problems as many privately owned rental property disappear. This will leave many people with a severe lack of choice when it comes to rental properties and likely to face higher rents. However, with an estimated 4.5 million people in the UK relying on private rental accommodation, it is clear there is still a necessity for private landlords. Others are choosing to remain in the buy-to-let sector but switching their properties in their portfolio from areas in the South East such as Kent and Medway towns, to more profitable areas in the north of the country, where landlords can easily buy property for cash which will give high yield returns on investment and easily attract tenants. Property Buying Companies Can Held Landlords to Maximise Their Investments Companies that buy houses fast can help those who wish to switch their investments to improve their portfolios and their profit margins. With many home owners in northern areas in situations where they need a fast house sale, opportunities are there for those who are willing to look outside of the Kent area. specialises in helping people sell their house for cash. Property buying companies allow people to navigate a quick house sale in areas where property may traditionally be slow moving.