While the UK’s impending exit from the European Union may have dampened demand in UK property, particularly in the City, the same is not uniformly true elsewhere, and this year is nevertheless set to be strong if European investors are anything to go by. A Knight Frank survey of 155 leading real estate investors suggests that the UK will return to its position as Europe’s leading investment market in 2019.
In the meantime, the taxation of UK, particularly residential, property remains somewhat turbulent. One need only look back a few years to find a plethora of changes. Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), which has already undergone 14 major rule variations since 1995, brought us a new top rate of 7% in 2012, an overhaul of the slab tax system in 2014 alongside a new top rate of 12%, and a 3% rate for additional residential properties in 2016. In parallel, traditional UK residential property holding structures have been gradually undermined. A 15% SDLT rate was introduced in 2012 for properties of over GBP 2 million acquired by non-natural persons and at Autumn Budget 2018, the Chancellor announced plans to consult on a further 1% rate on non-residents.