Boscombe Heights, Amesbury – £139,950

Re-advertised with a new agent!

Now on the market with Fox and Sons of Amesbury, another of the cracking Boscombe Heights flats, situated on Boscombe Road Amesbury, within walking distance of nearby Amesbury Town Centre and also the amenities of Solstice Park. The block also benefits from its proximity to the A303 aswell as Salisbury City centre.


The property is immaculately presented throughout with accomodation comprising open plan Living Room/Kitchen, good sized double Bedroom along with Family Bathroom. There is also an allocated Parking Space.

We let a similar flat 12 months ago for a figure of £625pcm, at the current asking price you’d be looking at a return of 5.3%!

Give Fox and Sons a call to arrange your viewing!

3,215 Salisbury Landlords – Is This a Legal Tax Loop-Hole?

In November 2015, George Osborne disclosed plans to restrain the buy-to-let (BTL) market, implying its growing attractiveness was leaving aspiring first time buyers contesting with landlords for the restricted number of properties on the market.  One of things he brought in was that tax relief on BTL mortgages would be capped, starting in April 2017.  Before April 2017, a private landlord could claim tax relief from their interest on their BTL mortgage at the rate they paid income tax – (i.e. 20% basic /40% higher rate and 45% additional rate).

So, for example, let’s say we have a Salisbury landlord, a high rate tax payer who has a BTL investment where the rent is £900 a month and the mortgage is £600 per month.  In the tax year just gone (16/17), assuming no other costs or allowable items …

  • Annual rental income £10,800.
  • Taxable rental income would be £3600 after tax relief from mortgage relief
  • Meaning they would pay £1,440 in income tax on the rental income

And assuming no other changes … the landlord would have income tax liability’s (at the time of writing May 2017) in the tax years of …

  • (17/18) £1,800
  • (18/19) £2,160
  • (19/20) £2,520
  • (20/21) £2,880

Landlords who are higher rate tax payers are going to have be a lot smarter with their BTL investments and ensure they are maximising their rental properties full rental capability.  However, there is another option for landlords.

The Salisbury landlords who own the 3,215 Rental properties

in the town could set up a Limited Company and sell their

property personally to that Limited Company

In fact, looking at the Numbers from Companies House – many landlords are doing this.  In the UK, there are 93,262 Buy To Let Limited Companies, and since the announcement in November 2015 – the numbers have seen a massive rise.

  • Q2 2015 / Q3 2015 – 4,193 Buy to Let Limited Companies Set Up
  • Q4 2015 / Q1 2016 – 5,403 Buy to Let Limited Companies Set Up
  • Q2 2016 / Q3 2016 – 3,007 Buy to Let Limited Companies Set Up
  • Q4 2016 / Q1 2017 – 7,149 Buy to Let Limited Companies Set Up

So, by selling their buy to let investments to their own limited company, owned 100% by them, these landlords could then offset the costs of running their BTL’s as an ‘allowable expense’ – effectively writing off the cost of 100% of their mortgage outgoings, wear and tear and upkeep, letting agent’s fees etc.

I am undeniably seeing more Salisbury landlords approach me for my thoughts on setting up a BTL limited company, so should you make the change to a limited company?

In fact, I have done some extensive research with companies house in the 15 months (1st January 2016 to 31st March 2017 and 44 Buy To Let Limited Companies have been set up in the SP postcode alone).

Well if you are looking to hold your BTL investments for a long time it could be very favourable to take the short-term pain of putting your BTL’s in a limited company for a long-term gain.  You see, there are huge tax advantages to swapping property ownership into a limited company but there are some big costs that go with the privilege.

As the law sees the new Limited Company as a separate entity to yourself, you are legally selling your BTL property to your Limited Company, just like you would be selling it on the open market. Your Limited company would have to pay Stamp Duty on the purchase and if you (as an individual) made a profit from the original purchase price, there could be a capital gains tax liability of 18% to 28%.  The mortgage might need to be redeemed and renegotiated (with appropriate exit charges).

On a more positive note, what I have seen though by incorporating (setting up the Limited Company) is landlords can roll up all their little buy to let mortgages into one big loan, often meaning they obtain a lower interest rate and the ability to advance new purchase capital.  Finally, if the tax liability is too high to swap to a limited company, some savvy buy to let investors are leaving their existing portfolios in their personal name whilst purchasing any new investment through a limited company?  Just an idea (not advice!).

It’s vital that landlords get the very best guidance and information from tax consultants with the right qualifications, experience and insurance.  Whatever you do, always get the opinions from these tax consultants in writing and you shouldn’t hurry into making any hasty decisions.  The modifications to BTL tax relief are being progressively eased in over the next three years so there is no need to be unnerved and rush into any decisions before finding out the specifics as they relate precisely to your personal situation, because with decent tax planning (from a tax consultant) and good rental / BTL portfolio management (which I can help you with) … whatever you do – let’s keep you the right side of the line!

South Mill Green, Amesbury – £136,500

Something a little different to start the week!

This fantastic grade II listed former Toll House could be a brilliant development opportunity, all you need is a little imagination! The property itself is situated within the increasingly popular area of Amesbury, with amenities, great transport links and only a short distance from Salisbury City Centre.

Accomodation comprises entrance vestibule, Living Room, Kitchen/Diner, Sitting Room/Bedroom 2, Bathroom and first floor Studio Bedroom. The current dwelling could simply be updated both inside and outside producing a beautiful property, there may also be scope for extension. Planning permission was previously granted for the building of a double garage. This has now lapsed, but there is certainly potential for this to be re-obtained.

Jordan’s, the advertising agent, are hosting viewings on Wednesday’s between 16:00 and 17:00 and Saturday morning’s by appointment only. Give them a call to book your slot and assess the potential of this gem!

Council House Waiting List in Salisbury Drops by 90.3% in last 2 years

Should you buy or rent a house? Buying your own home can be expensive but could save you money over the years. Renting a property through a letting agent or private landlord offers less autonomy to live by your own rules, with more flexibility if you need to move.

Yet, there is third way that many people seem to forget, yet it plays an important role in the housing of Salisbury people. Collectively known as social housing, it is affordable housing, which is let by either Wiltshire Council or a housing association to those considered to be in specific need, at rents below those characteristic in the private rental market.

In Salisbury, there are 3,764 social housing households, which represent 19.42% of all the households in Salisbury. There are a further 1,853 families in the Wiltshire Council area on their waiting list, which is similar to the figures in the late 1990’s. The numbers peaked in 2014, when it stood at 19,122 families, so today’s numbers represent a drop of 90.3%.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t necessarily mean that more families are being supplied with their own council house or housing association property. Six years ago, Westminster gave local authorities the authority to limit entitlement for social housing, quite conspicuously dismissing those that did not have an association or link to the locality.

Interestingly, the rents in the social rented segment have also been growing at a faster rate than they have for private tenants. In England, the average rent in 1998 for a council house/housing association property was £183.08 a month, whilst today its £381.03, a rise of 108% in 19 years.

When comparing social housing rents against private rents, the stats don’t go back to the late 1990’s for private renting, so to ensure we compare like for like, we can only go back to 2005. Over the last 12 years, private rents have increased nationally by a net figure of 19.7%, whilst rents for social housing have increased by 59.1%.

So, what does this all mean for the homeowners, landlords and tenants of Salisbury?

Rents in the private rental sector in Salisbury will increase sharply during the next five years. Even though the council house waiting list has decreased, the number of new council and housing association properties being built is at a 70 year low. The government crusade against buy-to-let landlords together with the increased taxation and the banning of tenant fees to agents will restrict the supply of private rental property, which in turn using simple supply and demand economics, will mean private rents will rise – making buy to let investment a good choice of investment again (irrespective of the increased fees and taxation laid at the door of landlords).  It will also mean property values will remain strong and stable as the number of people moving to a new house (and selling their old property) will continue to remain restricted and hence, due to lack of choice and supply, buyers will have to pay decent money for any property they wish to buy.

Interesting times ahead for the Salisbury Property Market!

Down View Road, Salisbury – £167,500

Advertised with Carter & May is this fantastic Two Bedroom ground floor apartment situated within the popular area of Laverstock.

Accomodation briefly comprises large Lounge, seperate fitted Kitchen, Master Bedroom, second good sized Bedroom and family Bathroom. The property also benefits from communal gardens, off-road parking and brick built storage shed. There are 96 years left of the 125 year lease and the property incurs an annual ground rent of £10 per annum. The last service charge for 2016/17 was £146.04 which of course will effect your potential yield.

I would estimate a potential rental value of around £750pcm, meaning a potential yield of around 5.3%, meaning this would make a brilliant investment opportunity!

Give Carter & May a call to arrange your viewing!

Salisbury First Time Buyers Mortgages taking 37.3% of their Wages

I received a very interesting letter the other day from a Salisbury resident. He declared he was a Salisbury homeowner, retired and mortgage free. He stated how unaffordable Salisbury’s rising property prices were and that he worried how the younger generation of Salisbury could ever afford to buy? He went on to ask if it was right for landlords to make money on the inability of others to buy property and if, by buying a buy to let property, Salisbury landlords are denying the younger generation the ability to in fact buy their own home.

Whilst doing my research for my many blog posts on the Salisbury Property Market, I know that a third of 25 to 30 year olds still live at home. It’s no wonder people are kicking out against buy to let landlords; as they are the greedy bad people who are cashing in on a social woe. In fact, most people believe the high increases in Salisbury’s (and the rest of the UK’s) house prices are the very reason owning a home is outside the grasp of these younger would-be property owners.

However, the numbers tell a different story. Looking of the age of first time buyers since 1990, the statistics could be seen to pour cold water on the idea that younger people are being priced out of the housing market. In 1990, when data was first published, the average age of a first time buyer was 33, today it’s 31.

Nevertheless, the average age doesn’t tell the whole story. In the early 1990’s, 26.7% of first-time buyers were under 25, while in the last five years just 14.9% were. In the early 1990’s, four out of ten first time buyers were 25 to 34 years of age and now its six out of ten first time buyers.

Although, there are also indications of how un-affordable housing is, the house price-to-earnings ratio has almost doubled for first-time buyers in the past 30 years. In 1983, the average Salisbury home cost a first-time buyer (or buyers in the case of joint mortgages) the equivalent of 3.2 times their total annual earnings, whilst today, that has escalated to 5.9 times their income (although let’s not forget, it was at 6.1 times their income for Salisbury first time buyers in 2007).

Again, those figures don’t tell the whole story. Back in 1983, the mortgage payments as percentage of mean take home pay for a Salisbury first time buyer was 33.6%. In 1989, that had risen to 73.5%. Today, it’s 37.3% … and no that’s not a typo .. 37.3% is the correct figure.

So, to answer the gentleman’s questions about the younger generation of Salisbury being able to afford to buy and if it was right for landlords to make money on the inability of others to buy property? It isn’t all to do with affordability as the numbers show.

And what of the landlords? Some say the government should sort the housing problem out themselves, but according to my calculations, £18bn a year would need to be spent for the next 20 or so years to meet current demand for households. That would be the equivalent of raising income tax by 4p in the Pound. I don’t think UK tax payers would swallow that.

So, if the Government haven’t got the money… who else will house these people? Private Sector Landlords and thankfully they have taken up the slack over the last 15 years.

Some say there is a tendency to equate property ownership with national prosperity, but this isn’t necessarily the case. The youngsters of Salisbury are buying houses, but buying later in life. Also, many Salisbury youngsters are actively choosing to rent for the long term, as it gives them flexibility – something our 21st Century society craves more than ever.

Glenmore Road, Salisbury – £157,500

A fantastic Buy to Let proposition to start the week!

Glenmore Court is situated in a fantastic location on the outskirts of Salisbury and flats within the block have proven to rent well. This particular ground floor flat, currently advertised with Whites, briefly comprises Sitting Room, Kitchen/Breakfast Room, two double Bedrooms and family Bathroom along with communal Garden, Garage and Off-road Parking.The property is offered with vacant posession, with 120 years left on the lease. There is an annual service charge of £660 per annum.

We let a flat within the same block in August 2016 for £750, so I would expect to achieve around £775 now. With this in mind, at the current asking price you would be looking at a potential yield of 5.9%! Of course the service charge will effect this.

Montgomery Gardens, Harnham – £260,000

Advertised with McKillop and Gregory is this fantastic three bedroom semi-detached property, possibly in need of some cosmetic updating, however situated within walking distance of Salisbury City Centre and Mainline Station.

Accomodation comprises open plan Living/Dining room, seperate fitted Kitchen, one good sized double Bedroom, two smaller Bedrooms and seperate family Bathroom.Outside there is a small front Garden, Driveway Parking for two cars and a Garden to the rear. A new Gas fired Boiler, double glazed Windows and new front door will be fitted to the property prior to exchange of contracts. I would estimate a rental value of between £900pcm and £950pcm, meaning a potential yield of between 4.1 and 4.4% yield, not the highest, but properties in the area are guaranteed to rent well!

35.3 miles – The average distance people go to escape living in Salisbury

“How far do Salisbury people go to move to a new house?” This was an intriguing question asked by one of my clients the other week. Readers of my property blog will know I love a challenge, especially when it comes to talking about the Salisbury Property Market!

For the majority, the response is not very far. It is much more common for homeowners and tenants in Great Britain to move across town than to the next town or county. Until now, it’s been hard to say how many homeowners and tenants moved from (and to) relatively far away to buy or rent their new home. However, I carried out some research and requested some statistics from the Royal Mail. What came back was fascinating!

Using statistics for the 12 months up to the middle of Autumn 2016, 356 households moved out of Salisbury (SP1), moving an average distance of 35.3 miles – the equivalent of moving from Salisbury to Shepton Mallet (as the crow flies).  The greatest distance travelled was 353 miles – that’s more than 13.5 marathons (when someone moved to Dunfermline in Scotland).

Considering there were 374 property sales in SP1 in the year and countless tenant moves, the numbers seems consistent – once you find a town you like, you tend to want to settle down and if you do move, you might only move to a different neighbour-hood, or for better transport links or, to be closer to the school you want to get your children into, but the likelihood is you won’t travel far.

I then turned my attention to people moving into Salisbury. Using the same statistics for the 12 months up to the middle of Autumn 2016, 448 households moved into Salisbury (SP1), moving an average distance of 49.06 miles – the equivalent of moving from Haselmere to Salisbury (again as the crow flies). The greatest distance travelled was 457 miles – that’s more than 17.5 marathons (when someone moved from North Kessock in Scotland to Salisbury).

I have looked at the data of every person moving into Salisbury and these have been plotted on a map of the UK. Looking at the map below, it shows exactly where most people come from, when moving into Salisbury. As you can see, there are a high proportion of people moving from London and the East.

So, what does all this mean for the landlords and homeowners of Salisbury?

When an agent markets a property for rent or let, it is vital to know the tenant or property buyer well, that the properties they are letting/selling fit those tenants/buyers, so they almost sell themselves. These days that means not only knowing how many bedrooms, reception rooms etc., a property offers but the budget buyers and tenants want to spend on a property in that area as well as where they come from.

The estate and lettings industry loves the mantra “location, location, location”. I say it might be helpful to factor in where (and how) far people are moving from, so the property can be sold or let more easily. Many say knowledge is power and whilst I do enjoy writing my blog on the Salisbury property market, I also use the information to help my clients buy, let and sell well. So for example, the information gained for this article, will enable my team and I to be more efficient in where to direct our marketing resources to ensure we maximise our clients’ properties sale-ability or rent-ability.

Fisherton Street, Salisbury – £116,500

This immaculately presented flat would make a cracking first time buy or an even Buy to Let opportunity, attractive to commuters due to its close proximity to Salisbury Mainline Station.

Accomodation comprises large Living Room/Dining Room, Modern fitted Kitchen, Master Bedroom with fitted Wardrobe and modern Bathroom.The property has been finished to a high standard and is offered with no forward chain.

I would estimate a rental value of around £625pcm, meaning a cracking yield of 6.4%! The property is held Leashold for a term of 125 Years from January 2001 with £50 per annum ground rent, £533.46 per 6 months Service Charge and the Buildings insurance for 2015 is £223.08, which of course will effect your yield.


Contact Carter & May for your viewing!