The UK Autumn Budget proved that despite the government’s latest initiatives in addressing housing affordability for first home buyers, landlords remain pivotal to the supply of housing in the UK.
At a glance, the Autumn Budget (Oct 29) had good news for first-time house buyers in the reduction of stamp duty on jointly-owned property. The relief applies to homes of up to £500,000 and is in addition to the first-time buyer stamp duty exemption announced last year.
The Chancellor also declared that the government would allocate £500m for the Housing Infrastructure Fund to enable a further 650,000 homes to be built. This is on top of the previous pledge of 300,000 homes per year, on average, to raise housing supply by the mid-2020s.
Alongside the newly announced stamp duty relief for first home buyers, this is a laudable measure to alleviate housing unaffordability, yet there remains a lack in optimism where the issue of housing supply is concerned.
Landlords & Private Rental Sector: A Necessity to Solve UK Housing Woes
Historically, the UK has been plagued by a chronic shortage of housing. Not only had the government failed to meet its previous target of building 240,000 homes by 2016 (a target set in 2007), it had also changed Housing Ministers 16 times — more than 20 times faster than the average UK homeowner moves houses!
A research by Heriot-Watt University shows that the undersupply has become even more critical: England alone faces a backlog of 4 million houses.
More houses are needed to address homelessness as well as skyrocketing house prices and rents. And this is where the private rental sector comes in. Not only are landlords pivotal in ensuring the supply of rental housing for the growing number of young people unable to afford their own homes, they also provide flexibility for millennials who prefer to rent.
New research has shown that UK property remains a lucrative investment with 88% of landlords able to gain a profit, as the imbalance in supply and demand continue to drive rental prices.
Updated Incentives/Exemptions for Landlords
Investors and landlords can look forward to the following updates moving forward:
(a) PERSONAL ALLOWANCE
Landlords can claim an increased personal allowance amount of £12,500 off their taxes in 2019/20. The personal allowance is currently at £11,850.
(b) CGT ANNUAL EXEMPTION
The Capital Gains Tax (CGT) annual exemption will be increased from £11,700 in 2018/19 to £12,000 in 2019/20.
Potential SDLT surcharge
Some weeks ago, Prime Minister Theresa May announced the possibility of a Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) surcharge of 1% – 3% to be imposed on overseas landlords/ property buyers from Jan 2019.
The government has now revealed that it will propose a surcharge amounting to only 1% during the Budget, and that a consultation on the surcharge will be published in January. Stay tuned as we continue to monitor the news and provide updates in due course.
Interested to invest in UK property and be a landlord? Invest before the foreigner SDLT surcharge kicks in in 2019! Call us and make that smart choice today at (+65) 3163 8343 (Singapore), 03-2162 2260 (Malaysia). Or, email us at email@example.com!
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By Lydia Devadas Edits & additions by Vivienne Pal