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Simon Hardy

November 2016

Reading back through my colleagues’ reports from the past few editions of Property Professional, it is not surprising to see some recurring themes: the upfront tenant fees ban, rental supply issues, regulation and landlord tax along with everyone’s favourite – Brexit!

The Government, it seems, is hell-bent on ‘fixing’ the property market at the risk of…the property market. While ARLA Propertymark is working hard with DCLG to influence some of the impending changes, it is clear the private rented sector is in for a very bumpy ride over the next few years.

Meanwhile, most of the north west has seen little, if any, cooling of demand for rental property. The sheer lack of rental stock has pushed up rental prices in many areas and in turn investor demand remains strong. However, we then come up against the lack of property for BTL landlords to acquire. There are a few building projects in our area, but we find this is barely meeting the sales market demand, let alone BTL.

When brand-new property comes to the market it always creates a ripple down through the sales market but these are becoming less influential.

If/when HS2 becomes a reality, the prices will increase further for both rentals and sales. With changes to landlord tax, banning of fees, and enforcement of the EPC E-rating regulation in 2018 all expected to push rents up, we can see the very reason for ‘tinkering’ with our industry is most likely to have exactly the opposite effect.

There is of course also the thorny topic of land-banking. Being a largely rural region, but with two of the largest and influential northern cities to boot, any influence the Government may bring to bear on this practice will make for even more interesting times!

ARLA Propertymark Regional Representative