There’s been a broad welcome from letting agents to the Spring Statement not loading more tax or restrictions on buy to let, and possibly helping with the zero VAT rating for energy efficiency products.
This is what the leading agents say:
Dominic Agace, chief executive of Winkworth, says: "The Chancellor removing VAT on improvements to upgrade our housing stock and make them more energy efficient is a major boost for landlords and provide some relief against recent measure increasing the costs and reducing the viability of their investments. As we face increased rental costs due to sell-offs by landlords struggling in the face of increased regulation and taxation, this removal of VAT is vital to ensure we have sufficient supply of rental properties for young professionals needing to move to our cities for work, with rental costs they can afford to pay.”
Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns for Propertymark, comments: "We welcome today's announcement that VAT will be cut on the installation of energy saving materials in residential properties. With rising energy costs as well as looming energy efficiency targets for the property sector, financial incentives are well needed. We will be scrutinising the details of this scheme as they are released to ensure they have the maximum impact for all homeowners, including investors in the private rented sector and that landlords and letting agents can take full advantage of the change.”
There was a more guarded welcome for the energy efficiency measures from Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman. He says: “There was some focus on energy-saving materials, with VAT reduced to zero for the next five years for homeowners installing solar panels or heat pumps. While this will benefit a few homeowners with the means to install these in the first instance, there is no point in doing this unless there is sufficient consumer buy-in and confidence which isn’t there at the moment with regard to heat pumps. Consumers worry about the maintenance and servicing of these and there needs to be more confidence around their operation.'