It’s fair to say new Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s first Budget was pushed down the news agenda thanks to the ongoing global issues with Coronavirus.
Indeed, Mr Sunak’s red briefcase was bursting with the £5billion war chest pledged to tackle Covid-19.
Away from Coronavirus, though, there were several elements of the Budget for property investors to be happy about.
Here are the key points when it comes to the housing market…
Stamp duty – additional surcharge for overseas investors
Much of the chatter prior to the Budget was about wholesale reform of the UK’s Stamp Duty policy.
Suggestions Mr Sunak was about to raise the duty threshold to £500,000, however, proved fruitless, while UK landlords will continue to pay an additional 3% surcharge on their rental properties.
The only change to Stamp Duty policy was a further surcharge introduced for overseas buyers, who will pay an additional 2% from April 2021.
Mr Sunak has pledged £600billion for work on roads, rail, broadband and, most importantly, housing between now and 2025.
The stock markets
With fears the Coronavirus crisis will lock down the global economy for some time, stock markets have been taking major hits.
The FTSE 100 yesterday dropped to levels not seen since 2012, while US market the Dow Jones hit what’s known as ‘bear market’ territory yesterday – 20% lower than its peak.
All of which has left stock investors with some key decisions to make – stick it out, hoping the Covid-19 pandemic will eventually pass, or pull out their investments and put them in safer havens – like property.
Interest rate cut
The Bank of England actually got in before yesterday’s Budget announcement to confirm that UK interest rates would be slashed back from 0.75% to 0.25% – their lowest level in history.
That will mean cheaper mortgage repayments for those homeowners and investors on tracker mortgages, while those investors looking to remortgage could find lender rates more attractive than they were on Monday.
The security and resilience of property
For property investors, particularly those with portfolios of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), the security of having their money in bricks and mortar during the Coronavirus outbreak will provide some peace of mind to offset the uncertainty of other investments.
UK property, too, has a great record for standing firm in the face of global uneasiness.
During the last major global recession in 2008-09, Platinum investors continued to enjoy healthy returns of between 10% and 15% from their HMOs, while demand for quality shared living properties remained high.
House prices during the UK flu pandemic of 2009 and 2010 actually grew by 6.5% (January – January), while values also rose by 7% during the Ebola threat in 2014 despite investor turmoil across the world, according to Office of National Statistics data.
Time to capitalise
For landlords looking to diversify their portfolios to include HMOs, and even first-time investors looking for strong returns, now could be the time to capitalise on a property market emerging from the delay of Brexit and showing signs of life once again.
That renewed interest, coupled with yesterday’s interest rate cut and continuing strong rental demand means even in the face of Coronavirus, now could be the time to take action if you’re thinking of investing in property.
The best way to find out more about Platinum is to attend one of our Discovery Days, which are run in Birmingham, London, Bournemouth and Manchester.