Goodbye EU, Goodbye Scotland

June 24, 2016

I thought I was a lukewarm Remain voter, but today I am gutted.  The most sobering image of the day so far is Nigel Farage declaring a new dawn.  As I walked to my local café in Hackney, the atmosphere is one of shock: our borough returned the second highest vote for Remain in the UK.  Friends in Spain texted me ‘mala noticia’ though one of them is ready to pounce on cheap equities.  The FTSE was down 7% at the start of the day, but it had climbed nearly 10% in the [...]

Fight Back

June 18, 2016

It is nearly a year since the Summer budget when Osborne announced the first raft of punishing tax changes for the UK’s 1.7 million landlords, only to be compounded by yet more in the Autumn statement.  After much gloom had descended on the landlord community and many resolve to sell up, it was with so fantastic last week to hear the news that the Court of Appeal ruled that West Bromwich building society was not entitled to arbitrarily hike mortgage interest rates for landlords.  The result of this court action has surprised many [...]

Top Ten Challenges Facing London Landlords

May 15, 2016

I spoke to many landlords at the recent Property Investor Show at Excel in London.  Here are what I think are the top ten challenges facing London landlords:
1.  Landlord Sentiment
NLA research has found that landlord confidence has fallen to a level lower than it was during the 2007/8 crash.  19% of landlords say they will sell a property in the next 12 months.  This is because of the tax changes brought in by the Chancellor in his last 3 budget statements. Mortgage Interest relief is going to be restricted to the basic rate [...]

Ten Reasons Not To Buy New Build

April 17, 2016

If you’re a first time landlord or an experienced investor, think long and hard before adding new build properties to your portfolio.  Here are some of the pitfalls:
1. Developers Premium
When you buy a new build property, a developer is making a substantial profit.  They will only have embarked on the project if they knew they could make a decent return and they will have set the price point accordingly.  You are paying for all of the marketing, the trouble that they have gone to building, designing and fitting out the property and developers [...]

A Landlord’s Guide To The Budget

March 19, 2016

The dust has settled on George Osborne’s budget, well at least most of it, the political fallout of Ian Duncan-Smith’s resignation, I suspect, has only just begun.   The chancellor says his government wants to “tax the things it wants to reduce, not the things it wants to encourage.”  Having increased stamp duty on purchases by landlords and reduced Capital Gains Tax for everybody except landlords, his position on those of us providing 19% of the UK’s housing stock is clear – we are not welcome.  Here’s a summary of all the changes and [...]