New year, new resolve for property

A new year often brings new resolve in business matters, and the property market is no exception. Now that the dust has settled from the Chancellor's surprise u-turn last month, when he cancelled earlier proposals to allow residential property to be held in self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs), many investors are reassessing the buy to let sector.

A new year often brings new resolve in business matters, and the property market is no exception.

Now that the dust has settled from the Chancellor's surprise u-turn last month, when he cancelled earlier proposals to allow residential property to be held in self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs), many investors are reassessing the buy to let sector.

Residential property specialists say the change of policy should not detract from the on-going appeal of bricks and mortar. However, as with any major investment, they counsel caution and the need for professional advice.

Jan Hytch, Norwich-based associate partner with Arnolds Chartered Surveyors, advises landlords on investment in residential property, including strategic portfolio building and acquisition. She comments: "Government-led residential property investment schemes and incentives come and go, but basically bricks and mortar are a tangible, straightforward investment that people can see and understand.


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"The u-turn over SIPPs is far from a shot in the foot for the buy to let market. Existing and potential landlords still recognise the solid medium/long-term investment that residential property income provides, with its combination of steadily increasing rental income and capital growth.

“There also comes the freedom of being able to buy, sell and raise capital at will, subject to income and capital gains tax."

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She adds that a number of new housing developments have seen price falls of more than 10pc as disappointed investors try to sell on due to lower than expected yields. However, many appear prepared to accept comparatively low rates of return for the time being.

"Investment should be for the long term. Those relying on rapid capital growth over the next few years are likely to be disappointed.

“Do not become over-excited about the prospect of buying what can sometimes be presented as a 'rock solid' investment, but give careful thought to the costs involved and how certain the income will be, before making that decision."

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