MPG ambassador, Carl Lomas reports his blog for the Manchester must do diary date. He was with property folk, accountants, lawyers and surveyors who gathered in Manchester for their regular hot house of all things development. Chip butties, bit coins and a headline showcase on projects from the Gherkin to Harry Potter studio set the monthly event as a must do diary in Manchester. Then add a choice moment between deep fried Scottish Pizza and wild mushrooms for excellence in surveyor’s toolbox and you have a networking property event with a menu to die for.
Jason Roper opened with a spritely summary of the world since the last MPG, ‘Beast form the East’ jeopardised the March meeting, there had been no chicken at KFC, Maplin and Toys R Us closures drove big job losses and banks had closed 462 branches in the running year. Times in the High Street are changing!’ Crypto cyber currency dished up the starters for a full house audience in the Manchester Chop House venue, Nick from UHY Hacker Young, cyber currencies established only eight years ago, people were paying thousands of bit coins for a pizza delivery and a bit coin today is valuing at seven thousand UK pounds, if you have some beware of the tax on this gain! Recording the values of what you have when is critical to the gain.
Ian Ford followed the pizza trail and delivered the key note. Surveyor extraordinaire, todays MD of Watts, projects from Kings College Hospital helicopter pads to Scottish Pizza! Watts celebrating fifty years last year, a UK wide surveyor team on the big projects. Ian opened with a ‘Chamber of Horrors phot show’. Audi car garage, there was a hush in the room, bolt failure in a multi-storey frame left new Audi cars scatter between showroom floors in a concrete carnage. Photo snap of extreme downpipe corrosion, paint your pipes regularly! A 1930s DOY house gone wrong big time. Dry rot! When is it a Scottish Pizza? Ian tested the MPG audience on the peperoni spotting with a tour of deep fried fun centred on giant mushroom growths.
Ian handed over the spellbound audience to Watts man, Tom Kibblewhite for something academic. ‘Lets talk right to light’ The shadows of big buildings. Hands on explanation. Tom went technical, ‘Right to light is an environmental issue and dealt with through the courts, usually involves injunctions. Daylight and sunshine issues are planning regulations and land in the town & country planning office. Light is old school, regs work around desk height for time old trades like Taylors, how much light is on the cutting desk. Below fifty per-cent of natural light the stakes get higher.
Get your diary out, the next date is May 3rd.
On 22 November Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his first Autumn Budget. The Budget had good news for the residential building sector as the Chancellor set an ambitious target of building 300,000 new homes per year – a target which has not been met since the 1970s.
The Chancellor placed a further £15.3 billion in new financial support to house builders, bringing the total to £44 billion. This included £1.2 billion for the Government to buy land to build more homes and £2.7 billion for infrastructure which supports housing.
This target will be difficult to reach, especially with developers’ margins being reduced to increase costs with shortages of trainee staff, funding and materials. The Chancellor hopes the increase in the number of homes will reduce house prices to allow housing to become more affordable. This would seem to be counterproductive.
The reduction of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) for first time buyers is welcome. The first £300,000 will be exempt from all duty and the next £200,000 will be at the reduced rate of 5%. While this will assist the market, note that this only applies to England and Northern Ireland, plus Wales until March 2018, who will then follow Scotland on having their own SDLT system.
There were also some negatives for the property industry in the Budget, including a crackdown on empty houses, with the Chancellor announcing that councils will be able to charge 200% of the normal council tax rate to unoccupied properties.
For property investment companies the allowance for inflation on the cost of property will stop in December 2017 so future Capital Gains Tax within companies will increase.
Overseas landlords on commercial properties will be subject to UK Capital Gains Tax from April 2019. It is proposed that only the gains from April 2019 value will be chargeable.
Additionally, overseas landlords operating as a company will switch from paying UK Income Tax to paying Corporation Tax. This allows the current interest restrictions and loss relief provisions to apply. The plan is to roll this out in April 2020.
For private landlords there is to be a review of the ‘Rent a Room’ relief and its future, whilst there was a relaxation of rules for property rental businesses to allow them to claim mileage rates from April 2018.
If you wish to discuss how these changes may affect your specific circumstances, please contact me or another member of the team.
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