Chancellor Rishi Sunak made two big announcements about the property market last week and triggered a flurry of activity.
Both initiatives represent attractive propositions for savvy landlords. But, as always, it pays to do your homework first.
Stamp Duty holiday
The Chancellor’s headline-grabbing announcement was a Stamp Duty holiday. He raised the threshold to £500,000, a move that means a potential Stamp Duty saving of up to £15,000, depending on the price of the property.
But all holidays must come to an end, and this one runs out at the end of March 2021. So, buyers will have to move relatively quickly, given the time it takes to complete on transactions. As they say, you snooze, you lose.
What it means for landlords
For buy-to-let investors who wish to expand their portfolio, this is a significant opportunity even though the current 3% surcharge that applies to second homeowners still stands.
But - and sorry to state the obvious here - it only represents a saving if you buy at the right price. Landlords also need to weigh up the state of the lettings market to gauge their rental returns.
While most rental markets are holding firm, given how much has happened in recent months, it’s worth getting expert advice first. Talk to us about where the East London and Essex rental market is heading before you make any big decisions.
Green Homes Grant
The second big announcement was the Green Homes Grant scheme which aims to encourage property owners to make their homes more sustainable.
Full details on the scheme are still to come but, in essence, landlords can get a grant that covers two-thirds of the cost of energy efficiency improvements up to the value of £5,000. The scheme covers insulation, eco-friendly boilers, double glazing, draught-proofing, solar panels, and heat pumps.
To be eligible landlords will need to make an online application (the government promises the website will be up and running from September). Local suppliers will then quote on the work, and if the government approves the submission, it will issue a voucher.
So, if you’ve been thinking about replacing the rattling single-glazed windows at your property, or installing solar panels, now is an excellent time to take the plunge (once you’ve received the nod from the government, of course).
Providing the work is carried out to a high standard, this will be a good move for the environment and your pocket.
It’s also an opportunity to make a property more appealing to tenants (who doesn’t want to live in a home with low running costs?).
And should you wish to sell further down the line, it makes the property more marketable.
For advice about how best to make your property energy efficient, speak to us.
We’re used to advising clients about energy efficiency standards and can provide feedback about the most effective green measures.
For up-to-date analysis of the lettings market or advice about making a property more energy-efficient, contact us here at Lifestyle Property
We’re here to help landlords realise the full potential of their investments.