There is an increased understanding of the implications of the UK Government’s changes to tax relief on finance costs amongst more experienced landlords, according to new research.
The tax relief changes have now come into effect and while some research suggests that many landlords are not aware of how the change will affect them, the latest trends report from Paragon Mortgages suggest the more savvy landlords have a better grasp of it.
The research found that 78% of landlords now say they understand the personal implications, up 8% from the previous report, but Paragon Mortgages managing director John Heron warned that the full impact won’t be felt until 2022 as the change is being phased in.
The Government’s reduction in buy to let mortgage interest tax relief was announced in 2015 so landlords have had time to work out the implications and adjust accordingly but some still do not understand it with research finding there was a small increase in the number saying they do not understand the impact from 7% to 11%.
There was also a small increase in the number who say they need more information, up from 13% to 18%, with the report suggesting it is perhaps because they have only recently looked into the implications due to publicity in the run up to the change.
Overall, landlord optimism was stable in the first quarter of 2017, with the average rating of prospects for the private rented sector over the next 12 months now at 6.7. This maintains a modest upward trend since the first quarter of 2016 and suggests confidence is returning amongst landlords following a turbulent 18 months as they gain greater understanding of the pressures they are likely to face and developing strategies to mitigate at least some of the impact.
‘It’s encouraging to see that the sector has not been negatively impacted to the degree that had been widely predicted, despite some turbulence over the last couple of years. This increase in understanding combined with effective financial planning may be the key drivers behind a steadier picture in terms of overall optimism amongst landlords,’ said Heron.
‘However, we remain cautious, as landlords will not be fully impacted for some years yet and, whilst we have been able to track a modest recovery in confidence since 2015, the sector is still some way off its peak. The private rented sector is finely balanced and will remain so for some time,’ he added.
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