UK Rental Property Shortage Critical

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The UK rental property shortage reported by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has turned the heat up on the government as it remains committed to increasing home ownership rates.

According to a recent article on the BBC website, the national shortage of rental properties which was described as ‘critical’ by RICS has been nearly 2 decades in the making as the number of households renting property has increased from 2.3 million in 2001 to 5.4 million according to the latest figures available.

Even factoring in the financial crisis which saw the value of UK property plummet, property prices still remain beyond the reach of many people who would prefer to buy rather than rent.

This is what is driving the Conservative Party’s decision to try and solve the housing crisis by building more homes and increasing the tax burden on landlords.

Buy to let investors are now required to pay a 3% stamp duty surcharge if they are buying a house or apartment that is not their main residence.

The government’s decision to introduce the tax increase led to a surge in investor activity back in March as efforts were made to avoid paying extra tax.

The effect was to dampen down demand for property although the effect didn’t last as Brexit led to economic uncertainty and investors moved away from turbulence in equities markets and pension pots were further hit.

According to the RICS survey 1.8 million households will be looking to rent rather than buy a home by 2025 as the UK continues to move away from a nation of home owners.

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