16 December 2005

Rural property market in New Zealand

Rural real estate experts are predicting a slowdown in the New Zealand rural property market which has seen a steep increase in land prices this year.

In its quarterly market outlook for the rural sector, Massey University's real estate unit says it appears sellers' price expectations are now meeting some buyer resistance.

Its panel of experts suggest this is due to high interest rates and the strong New Zealand dollar which is undermining exports.

They have also identified the depressed state of the pipfruit industry as a factor influencing prices for horticultural properties.

More here.

Aberdeen property investment

Aberdeen is often mistakenly regarded as an isolated and uninteresting part of Scotland. Few people really know that it has a blooming property investment market. The latest research shows Aberdeen property prices having risen the highest – 10 percent taking the average house price to £137,658, which places it at number two on the list in Scotland - with Aberdeen pushing Glasgow in third place with the average price at £130,175.
With tons of activity and market growth across the UK, Aberdeen has been a haven for property development and there are enough experienced property & building consultants & advisors to guide you through a successful buy.

Check some property managers owners & estates to get going and dont forget the property & building consultants in Aberdeen.

Happy investing!

14 December 2005

UK real estate investment news

Investors could be encouraged to put money into the new real estate investment trusts through savings products such as individual savings accounts and child trust funds, the government revealed on Wednesday.

In last week’s pre-Budget report, Gordon Brown finally gave the go-ahead for Reits – tax-efficient vehicles for property investment – after years of wrangling and thwarted expectations.

Reits are worth hundreds of billions of pounds in other countries such as the US and Australia, where their high yields from steady income streams appeal to large numbers of investors.

Legislation detailing how Reits would operate was put before parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

More here.

08 December 2005

Ireland property tax reliefs

Finance Minister Brian Cowen said there was a need to balance effective tax reliefs with ensuring that everybody paid an appropriate amount of income tax.

There will be a cap on the extent to which people can avail of some reliefs, in an attempt to remove the phenomenon of 'tax free millionaires'.

The cap will apply to those with income over €250,000 a year, and will cut by half the amount the income that can be relieved from tax by certain specified tax reliefs. The Minister also imposed a cap of €250,000 on tax relief for artists.

Following a review of tax reliefs, a number of these will be terminated as they are no longer thought to be cost-effective.

These include the urban, town and rural renewal schemes, and special reliefs for hotels, holiday cottages, student accommodation, multi-storey car parks, third-level educational buildings, sports injuries clinics and park and ride facilities.

SIPPs change cancelled

Anger and dismay has greated Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown’s announcement that he will not now go ahead with a planned change to self invested personal pension rules that would from next April have allowed such schemes to invest in residential property.

Promise of the change, included in last year’s Finance Act, has encouraged the financial services industry to invest millions in developing appropriate SIPPs. All that has now been wasted.

True to form the Chancellor has pounced on the slightest hint of tax avoidance and in so doing will be making changes that were originally designed to simplify pensions law extremely complicated even before they come into effect. A ‘technical note’ – virtually the only reference to his decision to overwrite his SIPPs promises included in his Pre-Budget statement – sets proposals to deal with direct and indirect investment in residential property, and much more.

Although there had been a wave of protests that the property market would be distorted and things made tougher for first time buyers if changes to the SIPPs rules went ahead – something always denied by the Government ¬– the Chancellor gave another reason for the change of heart. It was ‘to prevent people benefiting from tax relief in relation to contributions made into self directed pension schemes for the purpose of funding purchases of holiday or second homes and other prohibited assets for their or their family’s personal use’.

Few thought there would have been much if any tax advantage in this anyway, since any use of second homes owned through a pension scheme would have been subject to taxation as a benefit kind.

More here.

07 December 2005

Can I save for a pension and save tax too?

This question may have crossed the minds of quite a lot of people, who had been drooling at the thought of investing in a Sipp (Self Invested Personal Pension) and using it to buy a second home.

Now, the Chancellor's pre- Budget Report has effectively closed the door on investors placing residential property inside a Sipp.

The almost about face by the Chancellor has caused howls of outrage among financial advisers.

It has also left investors uncertain over future retirement plans that had been based on placing residential property, including holiday homes, into their pension plan.

There had been almost a media frenzy in the last 12 months over the tax opportunities to be had from the pension reforms coming into force on 6 April 2006 ("A-Day").

More here.

06 December 2005

No Sipps for residential property?

The government has provoked howls of outrage from the financial services industry after slamming the door in the face of investors hoping to shelter residential property in Sipp pension plans from next April.

In a huge U-turn the Treasury has apparently realised the potential huge loss to the Exchequer posed by the A-Day pension reforms. This year's Budget raised the prospect of residential property and alternative assets such as fine wine being eligible for Sipps (self-invested personal pensions). However, the government says it now wants to "tighten the rules" to prevent "potential abuse".

"All those people who thought they could transfer their residential property into their Sipps will have to think again," said Philip Wood, director of personal finance planning at PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Brown referred in his speech to Parliament only to "the misuse of Sipps schemes to purchase second homes" in reference to the Treasury's latest brace of anti-tax avoidance measures.

However, the wider scope of the clampdown was revealed in a technical note from the Inland Revenue. Investment in residential property via a pension will only be allowed indirectly, for example by a fund. This fits in with the government's plans to introduce real estate investment trusts. By apparently making buy to let and holiday homes ineligible it could save the Exchequer up to 4 billion pounds in lost revenue.

Financial advisers were incensed by the sudden change of heart, although it is possible that there has been a mistake in drafting the technical note and that the Revenue really means to prohibit assets that are held for personal use.

Full article here.

05 December 2005

Property in South Africa

Municipal authorities want the owners of a R4 million Keurboomstrand holiday property to allow them to build a major Plettenberg Bay sewerage pipeline through it.

And now the Bitou Municipality has taken Cape High Court legal action to force the land's owners - who call it "unconstitutional" and motivated by the municipality's apparent desire to save R280 000 in building costs - to agree to it.

The owners, a family who have spent 33 years holidaying at the beachfront property, are also kicking up a stink over the municipality's plans to turn their holiday home into a sewerage thoroughfare without giving them any compensation.

The Bitou Municipality, represented by Ashley Binns-Ward SC and Mark Blumberg, has asked for an order confirming its right to construct a buried sewerage pipeline across a property owned by Nicolaas Swart's family company Gersumanic as well as directing the company to allow the building of it.

The municipality claims it has been given the right to construct the pipeline, which will run between Keurboomstrand and Plettenberg Bay, by a condition within the property's title deed.

But Swart, represented by Rulof van Riet SC and Rob Stelzner, argues that the condition was intended to provide for the building of waterpipes, sewage and drainage of sub-divided properties in the Keurboomstrand area and disputes that they were ever meant for the creation of a public sewer.