29 September 2005

Property As A Pension!

Currently, investors in Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) can invest in land, property funds, property-company shares or a single commercial property.

However from 6 April next year, investors will be allowed to buy domestic property within a SIPP. A whole heap of SIPP providers and property firms are excitedly talking up this opportunity, but there are risks involved in going down this route. Indeed, leading insurer Norwich Union yesterday warned that investors could use their pension fund to buy into property without considering the downside.

After pensions A-Day, SIPP holders have several options, such as using their pension fund to buy their family home, a second home, buy-to-let property or even a holiday home abroad. More than half a million Brits own second homes, roughly two-thirds of which are in the UK, and many of these wealthy investors are expected to transfer their property into SIPPs.
There are huge tax advantages in going down the property-SIPP route, because investors get tax relief on their contributions to a SIPP, which could effectively reduce the property cost by up to two fifths (40%). What's more, the fund doesn't pay tax on its rental income and capital gains from rising property prices.

However, the price you pay for this generous tax treatment is that you lose control of the property, which now belongs to your SIPP's trustee, which is usually a bank or insurer.
In addition, your SIPP has to pay stamp duty on purchases, at up to 4% of the property's value. A further complication is that SIPPs charge far higher annual management fees when compared to personal and Stakeholder pensions.

In effect, by putting your family home into a SIPP, you become a tenant, with your SIPP manager as your landlord. As you've forfeited ownership of your property, you need permission from your pension trustee before making alterations to your home. With buy-to-let property SIPPS, the trustee is responsible for maintaining the property, so it will contract out this work to a management company and charge you for this service.

Furthermore, although the tax treatment of property SIPPs is very generous, investors with properties abroad may fall foul of overseas tax laws, because many countries (including Portugal and Spain) do not recognise trusts. This could leave investors liable to pay substantial levies on their capital gains and assets, plus expensive legal bills.

Cliff D'Arcy reports.

28 September 2005

The Shanghai property market

Despite an average fall in prices of 20 to 30 per cent over the past few months, the Shanghai property market is far from being in a slump as some commentators have suggested.

Strong public demand for new and better quality properties has been underlined by solid economic growth, which, in turn, is supported by the rapid development of the city's higher value-added services sector.

The present price correction, apparently triggered by government measures to clamp down on excessive speculation, may seem too swift and sharp to those used to the double-digit annual price rises of the past. Indeed, many prospective home buyers are reported to have postponed making a purchase for fear of a further drop in real estate value.

James Leung from China Daily reports.

Dubai property investment

With rents soaring in Dubai many people are buying homes to live in at a time when pure investor interest in the market appears to be rising.

Dubai Premier are not only supplying the best Dubai homes for sale but are also specialists in renting and property management for Dubai's lucrative freehold property market.

Lately Dubai has become a hotspot for property investment with annual returns far outstripping that of the UK market. Up to date expert advice on investments from companies with offices in both England and Dubai is hard to get these days. Dubai Premier supply exactly that, alongside a comprehensive portfolio of quality rental villas which are ready to occupy. If it is apartments for investment you are looking for, then DP can source best value for money properties on the market.

It is worth keeping in mind that the Dubai property market changes daily, therefore you will need accurate, up to date information to make the correct and informed investment choices.

Other posts that mention Dubai:

26 September 2005

Letting to holidaymakers in the UK

It's the time of year when you come back from a fortnight's break and start fantasising about buying a little place in your favourite holiday location.

Investing in a holiday property in the UK offers plenty of tax advantages, says Sheena Hay, the senior tax manager at Grant Thornton. 'Furnished holiday lettings in the UK are very flexible in tax terms. There are lots of allowances and you don't need to produce a balance sheet like a full-blown business. You can just fill in the details on your tax form.'

Ian Luder, a tax partner at Grant Thornton, says the advantage of a UK property is that you don't have to worry about currency fluctuations or an unfamiliar legal system. What is more, expenses such as rents, rates, insurance, utility bills and repairs can be deducted against income. You can also offset the cost of improvements to the property, as well as gardening, cleaning, and legal and professional costs when you are calculating your tax bill.

Read the full article.

North Cyprus property agent

Purchasing a piece of Cyprus real estate can prove to be a daunting process.

It is therefore vital to find an estate agent who can provide all the essential information, guiding you through all the various aspects of purchasing property in Cyprus. In addition they need to inform you of the difficulties and legal problems associated with purchasing a Northern Cyprus property.

Natavel, is an established family business with a good level of service when it comes to purchasing your chosen Cyprus property. They pride themselves in helping buyers adjust to the sometimes difficult task of adapting to their new environment in Cyprus. With their help newcomers can then settle in with ease, something that helps people feel that their new Pafos property has indeed become their home away from home.

There is a huge variety of Cyprus property for sale, and their current portfolio covers every requirement for the aspiring buyer, be it in the form of an apartment, townhouse, villa, or the purchase of unique plots of land. Custom build houses are also available at request.

20 September 2005

Property in Australia

Here is a list of articles on property investment in Australia:

Australia holiday home property

Record prices for property in Noosa, Australia

Holiday letting is a hot topic

Javea estate agents

Interested in villas, apartments or other property in Spain?
Looking for Spanish property investments, and reputable estate agents particularly in the Costa Blanca area around Javea, Moriara, Calpe, Altea, Denia, Jalon, Valencia and Alicante?

Globus Estates is part of a long established group of companies specialising in
Estate Agency, property management of villas, apartments and rentals, project management, development and consultancy globally.

All the staff live in the Costa Blanca area, (which really helps) and are all salaried and not on commission, so you don't have to worry about getting overcharged!

15 September 2005

UK property market aid

Major players in the financial services industry are to partake in a trading game in property derivatives starting next month in a drive to accelerate the development of the market in the UK.

The initiative, which is being spearheaded by Hermes, the investment fund, is intended to give investors, property companies and investment banks the chance to gain practical experience in trading derivatives in a realistic environment - but on a virtual basis. The exercise is also aimed at gauging the level of potential demand.

13 September 2005

Property owners endangered species???

Today, the National Center for Public Policy Research joined more than 80 major national and state public policy organizations in a coalition letter expressing disappointment with Republican efforts to reauthorize the Endangered Species Act. Specifically, the letter charges Rep. Richard Pombo, chairman of the House Resources Committee, with putting forth a weak reform effort that falls woefully short of fixing the ESA or preventing the ESA from abusing landowners.
"Property owners have long suffered under the Endangered Species Act's onerous restrictions and outright disdain for property rights", said National Center Vice President David Ridenour, "And from what we've seen, Rep. Pombo's bill would ensure that this suffering continues largely unchecked."
The letter was signed by a broad coalition of influential national policy organizations, including: Coalitions for America, Eagle Forum, the American Conservative Union, the National Taxpayers Union, Liberty Matters, and the Christian Coalition.

State policy think-tanks, including the Pacific Research Institute, the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, and the Maine Public Policy Institute signed the letter as well. A draft of the legislation was leaked several months ago. The bill may be introduced as early as this week.

01 September 2005

Property in Romania

Romania property investment

People wanting to make maximum returns on a property investment abroad should head to Romania, it has been claimed...

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