Leading estate agent Winkworth has drawn up a wish list for the Chancellor to address in the Budget later this month.
In Winkworth’ s latest episode of The Property Exchange podcast focusing on the Budget, Chief Executive Dominic Agace highlights the need for the Treasury “to stop hammering buy to let landlords”.
He said: “It is estimated that 20 per cent of landlords are seriously considering selling up. That could be one million homes lost. Five million homes rely on the private sector, which has an important role to play in levelling up so people have options and there is mobility in the jobs market. I do think it is vital that first time buyers and landlords have a level playing field in the property market but landlords shouldn’t be seen as the enemy.”
His views were backed by Anthony Emmerson, Director of mortgage specialists Trinity Financial, who also appears in the latest podcast episode.
He said: “Buy to let landlords have had a very tricky five years. First, tax relief was removed, followed by more regulations and tightening of the rental stress tests which means landlords have to put in a much higher deposit when buying property. There is a significant financial penalty on a portfolio landlord, someone who owns four or more properties.
“If we lose 20 per cent of rental properties, the government isn’t building enough social housing. Rents will go up and there will be a lack of supply.”
Help from the Chancellor for the high street is needed in the form of reducing business rates, according to Dominic Agace, which has a developments and commercial investments division. He said: “The high street retailer is at a disadvantage to the online retailer. Business rates have gone up for many years. Retailers need help if the high street is going to be sustainable.”
The Chancellor also needs to incentivise planning reform and cut or abolish stamp duty, to avoid an over-centralising national approach when a regional solution would be more effective. According to Dominic Agace, stamp duty is still obstructing the flow of people moving up the housing ladder, particularly in London, where current levels of tax make it impossible for young families to afford to buy a house and those in large house to downsize in the capital. He also believes the Chancellor should make fiscal changes to encourage developers and local authorities to work with communities in planning more homes, to ensure that local people are involved in decision-making and are able to see the tangible benefits that new homes would bring for the local area.
Mitigating the effects of inflation is key to avoid knocking confidence in the housing market, according to Anthony Emmerson. He said: “I consider the biggest threat to be a combination of inflation and its impact on confidence. Once confidence is knocked, it is very difficult to get it back. The Chancellor should take the view that confidence and inflation need to be played off against each other as best they can, with the limited resources left.”
The Property Exchange podcast is presented for Winkworth by broadcaster and commentator Anne Ashworth. Winkworth has a nationwide network of 100 offices, with 60 in the capital. To tune into the latest episode of The Property Exchange, find it here: