Wednesday 30 March 2016

Top of the market of the (London housing) market? - part 7

Friends, readers and contacts who know me well know that I called the London property market right in 2007 (the last top) but ever since then I have called it wrong - as in, I still don't own a London residential property/house/flat.

So, for good reasons I have deliberately avoided prognosticating on what might happen with the London property market.

However, a friend gets in touch with some interesting views from his property expert contact (when I say expert, I don't mean just any random middle class Londoner who owns a property). 

I have pasted the "expert" insight below: 

"In the past couple of years the following things have happened or are happening in the residential property market: 
- Higher stamp duties for more expensive houses. This has already contributed to falls of up to 20% in the £2m-£5m bracket, according to anecdotal evidence.
- Annual Tax Enveloped Dwellings ("ATED") - the annual levy for residential property held in non-natural vehicles, introduced a couple of years ago. Originally attached to properties worth £2m+, now reduced or reducing successively to £1m and then £500k. Lowest original band started at £15k pa. but already 50% higher. Top current annual charge for value over £20m is something like £215k. Hits foreigners hardest – anyone wanting to transfer a property out of a company into personal names has to pay stamp based on market value. There is also now a special stamp rate of 15% if property acquired by a vehicle.
- Any disposal of UK property now subject to CGT. In the case of foreign ownership the base valuation is as at April 2015 (or thereabouts) - not original acquisition cost.
- From next April IHT will operate on a look-through basis – so non doms can’t leave shares of an offshore company that happened to own UK property to heirs without any UK tax consequences.
- From next month another 3% stamp on second homes and buy to let, which also recently lost tax relief for interest on borrowing.
- New Bank of England rules make it much more difficult and expensive for buy to let landlords.
- Brexit: it is estimated (by MigrationWatch) that a vote to leave the EU will reduce net migration to the UK by 100,000 per year, cutting the current annual housing requirement by 40%. The majority of that demand is in the South East (Town and Country Planning Assoc figs)."

The note concludes:

"Call me a fear-monger, but I think that all these could combine to create a property price correction of quite significant proportions."


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