Happy 18th birthday Buy to Let mortgages…

…and thank you for our present – a predicted 11% profit for the next decade according to a recent report.

The findings from the report published in an article by The Guardian identified that with average annual returns of 16.3% (£13,000 profit) on each investment of £1,000 since buy-to-let mortgages were launched in1996, landlords have earned more than they would have done with every other type of investment. These are clearly superb returns.

The report has been timed to coincide with the new affordability rules requiring lenders to carry out detailed checks on potential mortgagee spending and ability to pay if interest rates go up, but buy-to-let investors will be exempt from these rules.

Landlords take one in seven mortgages, and since 1996, lenders have granted 1.5m mortgages worth £174bn to buy-to-let investors. You can read the full article here: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/apr/26/returns-for-buy-to-let-landlords-dwarf-other-investments

Tax revenue from BTL investors up by 13 per cent

Tax revenue collected from UK buy-to-let (BTL) investors increased by 13 per cent in the last year due to HMRC’s growing scrutiny of the property investment sector. Meanwhile HMRC is running a campaign aimed at anybody that has failed to declare a property sale who are being encouraged to come clean and HMRC are expected to become more aggressive generally in their pursuit of tax evasion in the property sector.

HMRC are now able to compare Land Registry records with data from letting agents and tax files to spot any discrepancies that may exist. Mark Giddens of UHY Hacker Young said: 

“Buy-to-let investors need to be aware of HMRC’s increasing concern about tax evasion by landlords”. As buy-to-let continues to grow, so HMRC are more keen to delve deeper. So anybody that thinks they are below the radar may soon be in for a nasty shock.

For advice on how to effectively structure your tax affairs and in particular how to avoid any of the above issues, contact the tax experts by contacting Blue Silver Wealth.

UK tenants are sharing to counter soaring costs

Half of tenants surveyed in a recent spareroom.co.uk poll have returned to rental property after previously renting alone or with a partner, suggesting that renting alone is no longer a realistic option for many. The research also discovered that the number of older people sharing is on the increase with those aged between 45 and 54 and sharing accommodation also up by around 50%.

Given that the total number of new people looking for flatshares has risen by 31% since 2011, it seems that more UK citizens than ever before are returning to accommodation sharing in a bid to save cash. The average age of a UK person in a flatshare is now 26.9, up from 25.8 in 2005. And in London the average is even higher.

Significant savings can be made by renting a room in shared accommodation. Renting a one-bed flat in London costs an average of £19,633 per year including bills. A room in a house share including bills costs in most cases less than £8,000. Quite a saving!

The standard of rented accommodation keeps rising as more people enter the market whilst others tend to stay in shared accommodation for a longer. All the more reason to join us here at The House Crowd where we offer an arms-length, high interest property investment fund.

The UK housing market turns the corner

With buyers returning to the property market at the fastest rate for four years, the UK housing market seems as though it has finally begun the long road to recovery. Government finance initiatives have implemented since the start of the year appear to be one of the triggers according to the latest RICS Residential Market Survey.

With the number of potential buyers growing at the fastest rate since July 2009, growth was seen across the whole of the UK. Initially focused in the South East, the good news has now spread to regions across the country. The West Midlands and the North East saw the largest increases in buyer activity.

House prices rose in the country for the fourth consecutive month and grew at their fastest rate since the market peak of November 2006. Notably, this was not only confined to more affluent parts of the country such as London, but every region saw growth as we enter the end of the summer period.

And it doesn’t stop there. 15% more sellers placed their homes up for sale last month which meant six months of consecutive rises. And enquiries from new potential purchasers rose even more quickly. It would appear to be a good bet  that prices across the country will continue to rise and the experts at RISC described the figures as “great news of the property market as it looks like at long last a recovery could be around the corner.”

So now could be the time for you to invest. To do so in a measured and safe way join The House Crowd now or fill out our form for further details.

Taxman Targets Landlords

Buy-to-let landlords are handing over 13% more in tax to HMRC than in the previous tax year.

Buy-to-let investors paid £2.02bn in income tax on their rental income in 2010/11, up from £1.78bn due to HMRC’s growing scrutiny of property investors.

There are two special task forces looking at private landlords’ tax affairs, one based in the south-east and the other in Yorkshire.

HMRC is also currently running a campaign under which people who have not declared a property sale (other than their main residence) are urged to come clean. The campaign ends on September 6th.

“Once the deadline has passed, we expect HMRC to become more aggressive in pursuing undeclared rental income as well as property disposals,” said Mark Giddens, head of private client services at UHY Hacker Young. 

“Buy-to-let investors need to be aware of HMRC’s increasing concern about tax evasion by landlords. Their actions to date show that they are quite capable of matching Land Registry records and data from letting agents with taxpayer files and picking out discrepancies.

“As buy-to-let increases in popularity, there is inevitably more for HMRC to investigate. Some might simply fail to understand what their liabilities are and how to calculate them properly; others might think that they will be below HMRC’s radar.”

I hate to say ‘I told you so’, but…

Ever since the Universal Credit concept was announced, abolishing direct payments to landlords, it was clear it was destined to be a disaster. It was an immensely ill-conceived plan created in some Westminster ivy tower. I was always confident that sense would actually prevail in the long run: surely the government couldn’t be so blind as to continue with it once they appreciated the practical ramifications of trusting benefit recipients to pay their landlord directly. For months I have been saying that I thought they would backtrack… and the signs are that they are (thanks largely to the sterling work of The Residential Landlord’s Association) in fact now heading for a complete u-turn.

Whilst to date, changes have been made only to the trial scheme Richard Jones, policy director of the RLA, said the change was significant. He added “Whilst Government promises of automatic direct payments do not yet extend to the national roll-out of Universal Credit later this year, we are eager to ensure that it will apply when this happens.

“At the same time, the RLA will continue lobbying for a shorter time period in which automatic payments can be triggered, and for more details about the direct payments process.

“It is important for landlords to know that if tenants fall into arrears an immediate stop will be placed on further payment of housing costs to the tenant until direct payments to the landlord have been established.”

Read the full article

Let ‘Us’ Do The Property Investment Work For You

If you’re considering entering the buy-to-let property investment  market for the first time, and taking on the title of ‘landlord’ there is a raft of things you need to consider before jumping in; the property price, the structure of the building and the amount of rooms, to name but a few, however one not to be ignored is location. Kirsty and Phil have a point – location is everything!

The location can make a real difference to your rental return; new landlords may find that tenancy agreements are signed quicker if they can attract tenants to a region where there are plenty of opportunities. Consider facilities, such as transport links, shops, gyms and cinemas, not forgetting institutions such as hospitals, a university campus or a really good school down the road.

Here at The House Crowd, we do the homework for you, taking the hassle out of property investment and the burden of being a landlord, by finding great investment properties, in areas of good rental demand that produce high property investment net yields.  We then add value  through refurbishing empty properties therefore breathing new life into them and then selling them on.

Our unique crowdfunding model, opens property investment to the masses, by using just a small amount of capital. So if you’re weighing up the options and considering becoming a landlord, why not invest in The House Crowd and let us carry the weight of property investment on our  shoulders rather than yours.

The House Crowd is a brand new concept in property investment which allows people to invest small amounts via crowdfunding (for more information on the process, visit www.http://thehousecrowd.com/thehousecrowd//how-it-works/). We are committed to breathing life into empty, rundown properties whilst giving investors great returns on their investments (for more information about us, visit www.http://thehousecrowd.com/thehousecrowd//about/our-manifesto/). If you’ve read enough and want to invest now, visit www.http://thehousecrowd.com/thehousecrowd//invest-in-property/)