Luxury Homes to Buy or Rent in North West and Central London
We are an independent estate agency covering all aspects of residential property throughout North West and Central London.
We offer modern approach with traditional values, attention to detail and service you will be delighted with.
Our aim is to provide unrivalled expertise in our marketplace and personalised bespoke service supported by state-of-the-art technology and extensive media exposure.
Whether buying, selling or letting our highly experienced team of property professionals are here to help you achieve your objectives.
Rockstone London cover Hampstead, West Hampstead, Marylebone, Belsize Park,
St. Johns Wood and surrounding areas.
Kemplay Road, Hampstead, London, NW3
Luxborough Street, Baker Street , London, W1U
Antrim Mansions, Antrim Road, Belsize Park, London, NW3
Kemplay Road, Hampstead, London, NW3
Is buy-to-let still worth it?
These have made many landlords-to-be ask the question: ‘Is buy-to-let still worth it?’ Many landlords’ profits have suffered loss as a result of changes to tax laws.
So, should you give up on property – or is it still a useful source of income?
Property price growth has slowed in recent years, making buying to let riskier than it has been in the past. Moreover, the government has suppressed the buy-to-let market in recent years with changes to the tax system. Firstly, in 2016 it added a 3% surcharge in stamp duty on additional properties, such as second homes and buy-to-let properties.
Secondly, since 2017 the government has been reducing mortgage interest relief. The previous scheme enabled landlords to deduct the interest they pay on their mortgage before paying tax. This effectively gave higher-rate taxpayers 40% tax relief on their mortgage payments. Now, under new rules in force as of April 2020 landlords will no longer be able to deduct any of their mortgage expenses from rental income to reduce their tax bill. Instead, they will receive a tax-credit, based on 20% of your mortgage interest payments.
This will not have a negative impact on most landlords who were already basic-rate taxpayers, but will mostly affect those who are higher or top-rate taxpayers. However, one complication is that landlords will have to declare the income used to pay their mortgage on their tax return. This apparent income rise could increase the basic rate to the higher rate, which would mean a higher tax bill.
With mortgage interest relief no longer on offer, many landlords have seen their profits significantly reduce – in particular, higher rate taxpayers. They can no longer receive the full 40% tax relief on their mortgage payments, so their tax relief is effectively halved.
The new changes are particularly inconvenient for landlords with interest-only mortgages paying higher tax rates.
After all, is buy-to-let still a worthwhile investment?
The answer to this question goes beyond the issue of tax. To a large extent it depends on the type of investment you are looking for, and the ultimate goal of your investing activities:
Pros of buy-to-let
- You will earn rental income (though possibly less than in previous years). In some areas of the UK rental yield is as high as 8%, while other areas such as Prime Central London is close to the 3% mark.
- At the same time, you could generate capital growth as your money grows as your property value increases.
- You can take out insurance to cover against loss of rental income, damage, and legal costs.
- Your tax bill will be higher than it once was, eating into your profits.
- If you do not have the right insurance in place, you might not generate an income if the property is unoccupied.
- If property prices fall, your capital will reduce. And if you have an interest-only mortgage, you will need to make up for any shortfall if the property sells for less than you bought it for.
- You will need to factor in the costs of stamp duty, insurance and wear and tear.
If you are considering investing in buy-to-let property - or improving your returns on a buy-to-let you already own – it is important to do things right.
Please contact us on 020 3490 5950 to discuss your individual requirements.
Stamp Duty Holiday Extension Until June 2021
Purchases up to £500,000 will continue to be free from the tax until this date – with homes bought up to a value of £250,000 being extended even further to the end of September 2021. Sunak announced on 3rd March “To smooth the transition back to normal, the nil rate band will be £250,000, double its standard level, until the end of September – and we will only return to the usual level of £125,000 from 1 October.”
This news will be a huge relief to the industry as a whole, with widespread worry around the 160,000 home sales stuck in limbo and at risk of falling through if the holiday period was not extended. It is thought that the three-month extension is costing an estimated £1bn, adding to the £271bn the government has already borrowed this financial year to deal with Coronavirus.
The Chancellor also confirmed a new scheme to provide mortgages to homebuyers who put forward only a 5 per cent deposit, encouraging banks to lend to those with smaller savings pots. The government will take on some of the loan risk in the form of a state guarantee.
“A policy that gives people who can’t afford a big deposit the chance to buy their own home,” he told MPs. “As the prime minister has said, we want to turn generation rent into generation buy.”
It was confirmed that the Government would back the loans, which will be available on homes costing up to £600,000. Banks and building societies are not obliged to offer the mortgages, but Sunak said in his speech that several have already committed to do so. The scheme will begin in April and will be available on new mortgages taken out until 31 December 2022.
The number of people owning property under the age of 40 has plummeted over the years as young people face rising rent costs along with soaring house prices. It is hoped that with the new 5% deposit mortgages back on the table, that more people are able to afford these smaller deposit amounts required in order to buy a home.
Boxing Day property search hits new high
Zoopla announced it saw the busiest run up to Christmas for over a decade, with the market recording sales agreed on more homes in 2020 than in 2019 during the same period. They also announced a 70.5 per cent increase in traffic on Boxing day as people look to take advantage of the stamp duty freeze. This is set to intensify in January given the now imminent end to the stamp duty holiday, which is set to bring more hungry buyers into the market, keen to find and complete on their new home before the stamp duty deadline expires at the end of March.
Boxing day is always a good indicator of how the market is likely to perform at the start of 2021, so to see such huge numbers of interested potential buyers is very promising. A contributing factor will certainly be the national lockdown that is still ongoing, with more people at home having the time to look at what is on the market, not to mentioned revaluating if they have enough space during a period where the whole family is around.
Once the stamp duty holiday concludes at the end of March, there will likely be a slowdown in sales completions as the impetus to move amongst buyers motivated by stamp duty savings dissipates. This will have a knock on effect on transaction volumes later in the year as stamp duty is reintroduced.
Zoopla’s are anticipating house price growth across the country in 2021 to be around 1.0 per cent on average – this will run within a narrow range from 1.75 per cent in Scotland to just 0.5 per cent in the East of England and the North East.
Overall it’s not all doom and gloom out there, especially within the property sector. With the hope of successful mass vaccination and a rising trend in people looking to move home, as a year of homeworking has led people to re-evaluate their housing needs, there is confidence across the industry that momentum will continue into 2021.
"Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value"
Quick, professional and reassuring. After an awful experience with another agency Greg at Rockstone London gave myself and my flat mates faith again. He answered all our questions and went above and beyond, letting us know all our rights as renters, giving us draft tenancy agreements and passing us over to the landlord.
Cannot recommend enough.
"Had a very good experience"
Had a very good experience with Rockstone London and Greg specifically. Promptly communicated and very professional, would highly recommend.
"I love my new home!"
I used them for finding a fixed-term rental property in London. The service was fast and professional (my agent was Greg Kuras). I love my new home!
"5 star estate agents "
I used Rockstone London to find a new tenant for my flat and they were very helpful and professional.