As the year comes to a close, Richard Blanco and his guests discuss the changes in the market over the last few months and look to what’s to come in the New Year.
Joining Richard is Sarah Davidson, from This Is Money and the Mail Online, and Chris Norris, Head of Policy at the National Landlords Association.
The Budget and other regulations
Changes to Stamp Duty for first home buyers were announced in last month’s Budget. But the question remains, does it really help first time buyers and will it actually make a difference to the market?
The Government is also consulting on barriers to landlords providing longer rental agreements. Given the market has grown used to flexible tenancies over the last 30 years, do all tenants want the change and will it protect those who need it most?
Private Residential Tenancy in Scotland
The introduction of the PRT in Scotland effectively heralded lifelong tenancies, provided tenants hold up their end of the agreement. However, this doesn’t take into account landlords who rent to students for 10 months and to holiday-makers for the other two. But is this something that could happen in England, especially with a Labour government?
London and Sadiq Khan’s Draft Housing Strategy
While there is a distinction between what the Lord Mayor of London wants and what he can do, he’s encouraging local authorities to license landlords and begin light touch registration. What are the merits to this approach? And will he be able to get more authority through his Draft Housing Strategy?
Fully regulated agents
There were a lot of announcements about regulations for letting agents in 2017. However, most of this won’t come into effect until 2019 or later. Newham Council has introduced a ‘star rating’ system, with 67% of agents having a rating of 0-3 out of 5. Is this figure indicative of all agents? And are these new regulations necessary to improve standard in the sector?
Market trends and predictions
Surveys across the buy to let market are showing that many landlords have moved to limited companies and fewer small landlords are adding to their portfolios. Is this a trend that’s likely to continue? What other trends have these surveys shown?
Investment properties have been seen as a viable alternative to pension funds and buy to let has outperformed them over the last 25 years, but does it still make financial sense?