Sarah Beeny Autumn 2017 - 59

BUYING AND SELLING ▲

O

ver seven million people are set to lose
around £10K, thanks to government plans
to raise the state pension age earlier than
planned. As a result, a growing number of
people are turning to property as a way to
boost their dwindling pension pot. But can investing in
bricks and mortar generate an income that will help bolster
your retirement savings? Or do the recent tax changes in
the buy-to-let market mean that putting your money in
property is no longer the 'fail-safe' investment it once was?
Right now, the average UK rent stands at a healthy
per month, or ,
in the capital. hat's even a er
falling 0.3% in June, compared to the same month a year
ago, and an 0.3% slide in May.
And as demand for rental property continues to rise
- with no sign of slowing down - if you have spare cash,
investing in property may seem a no-brainer for older
would-be landlords looking to boost their retirement pot.
Indeed, research from Responsible Life, the retirement
specialists, found that nearly three quarters of pensioner
landlords said they would struggle to make ends meet if
they didn't have the income from their buy to let property.
he poll found that eight out of pensioners who own a
buy to let said their properties provide an important, even
vital, boost to their retirement income, especially with low
interest rates hammering retirees' savings.

PENSION RAIDERS

Analysis from the Council of Mortgage Lenders reveals
that, much like homeowners, landlords are an ageing
group: one third of all landlords are already retired. In fact,
according to the Financial Conduct Authority's Retirement
Outcomes Review, half of people are dipping into their
pension pots in order to reinvest; many using the cash to
get on the first rung of the buy to let property ladder.
s a result, the age profile of buy to let landlords has
changed dramatically since its 2004 survey, when fewer
than one in four were in the older age groups. But recently,
landlords have been hit by a number of tax policy changes,
meaning that those who are investing their pension savings
in property could see their profits plunge.
The stamp duty changes introduced by former chancellor
George Osborne last year, for instance, mean anyone
purchasing an additional house above the value of £40K
must pay 3% on top of the stamp duty already levied.
What's more, the changes to tax relief mean that it is only
available on 75% of the mortgage interest, and by 2020 it
will not be available at all; replaced by a tax credit.
'There have been many changes to the buy-to-let market
in recent months, including tax hikes and stamp duty
increases which have pushed certain portfolio holders into
a position where they've had to sell o some of their stock,'
says Jonathan Daines, founder of lettingaproperty.com.
'But for the vast majority of our landlords who own one
or two properties, many agree that if you're careful about
where to invest, decent returns can still be gained.'
However, not all investment experts are convinced
that bricks and mortar is the right choice for retirement
planning. Steve Cameron, pensions director of Aegon,
says he property market has o en been perceived as an
easy win to generate returns, but recent figures from oyal
Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) suggests that
the market is stagnating. The introduction of pension
freedoms now means that when you draw a pension, you

MAKING BUY-TO-LET work for you
Consider buying through a limited company. Landlords purchasing
property through a limited company structure are exempt from the
recent tax chan es o e er the tax enefits associated ith li ited
company ownership may not always outweigh the higher cost of
mortgage borrowing, so it is crucial to do your maths carefully
Look for an area that gives a good combination of capital
appreciation (the increase in the value of an asset such as property)
and yield (or your annual rental income, as a percentage of the total
value of the property)
Buy a rundown property to add value with a refurbishment.
or exa ple if you uy a property for
and after a
refur ish ent it is orth
you e ade a ood a ount of
profit
ut e indful of the ti e needed to recoup costs
if looking for income from rent
oid in estin in off-plan ats and houses here you are
paying a new-build premium
Nicola Taylor from HMO Heaven suggests refurbing the property
if needed t ill i e additional rental inco e per roo
she says
e er oids etter yields appier you and happy tenants

www.athomemagazine.co.uk OCTOBER

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