Date Published 01 May 2016
The ‘Attack' on Landlords by George Osborne in the form of increased Stamp Duty Land Tax and the reduction in higher rate tax relief over the next few years was predicted to have 2 impacts on the property market.
First, there would be a scramble to get property transactions completed by the 1st April deadline to avoid the increased SDLT. Figures from a number of sources show this to certainly have happened.
The second impact is whether there would be any longer term impact on property investors continuing to buy more property, due to their profit margins being reduced by the higher taxes.
There is strong opinion that the added costs to Landlords would be passed on to tenants through increased rent. In my view, this may be achievable in London whilst the demand for rental property remains high. However, in areas of lower tenant demand, or indeed when market forces change in London, this may not be possible.
The other concern for investors in the UK property market is the possibility of Brexit. Whilst no-one can possibly know the result or true impact in advance, the fact that there is uncertainty means that some potential buyers are deciding not to buy before the June referendum. Indeed, the threat of Brexit and the growing uncertainty surrounding Britain's future has already wiped an estimated £4 billion off FTSE 350 real estate investment trusts since the start of 2016.
Whilst the goalposts continue to move in the UK property market, Highgate appears to be relatively unaffected when compared to other areas of London and the UK. History therefore tells us that whatever happens in the EU vote, Highgate will remain a solid long term investment.