December 2014

UK Stamp Duty Reform

England, Wales and eventually Scotland (April 1st 2015) have seen a substantial reform on Stamp Duty announced in last week’s Autumn Statement. The distorted old system was well overdue for a restructure and was previously classed as medieval – considered the most damaging tax of all, described by the Chancellor.

The aim of the new system? To fulfil the common aspiration of being situated on the UK property ladder at a more accessible and affordable price. It promotes fluid property transactions at the lower end of the market.

The question is this; how will the top end of the market react to these changes? It could be argued that, on a domestic basis, the Chancellor could be shooting himselfSDRRP in the foot. The new structure will undeniably deter the top end investors whether it is foreign or internal. Stamp Duty will be cut for 98% of people who pay it – this is something that cannot be contended with. The new tax structure will in turn increase revenue sales.

When referring to an average family property price in the UK at £275,000 home buyers are saving £4,500 in comparison to the old Stamp Duty. But moving up a few tax bands, prime central London property has reached a record high of £1.6m. At a new rate of 12% for £1.5m and over there is no denying the top end of the market is going to be left with more of a hangover than before. Said to be a Robin Hood style approach; this hopefully puts a conclusion to the argument of under-taxed high end properties and the case of Mansion Tax. 

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The Rockins For Eyeko collection launch

Last night was the Rockins For Eyeko collection launch.

‘For a brand that started out just selling mascaras and eyeliners, Eyeko has certainly come on leaps and bounds in the past few years. First it signed up Alexa Chung as creative consultant, then expanded into Asia and South America earlier this year, and now it has collaborated with scarf brand Rockins on a collection of three limited-edition designs decorated with the same imagery that adorns Eyeko’s best-selling products.’

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RICS – Affordable Housing Conference

The BCFC attended the Finance for Housing conference at the RICS headquarters yesterday. RICS was accompanied by Chartered Institute of Housing on the hosting of the event, they provided the diverse attendees with a variety of speakers, ranging from former MP’s to innovative directors to TV show winners.

The session kicked-off with the contextualisation of the current economic position that the housing market is currently in. Speculating on and outlining the challenges and opportunities the industry faces. An insightful but also interesting perspective on these issues was covered by the likes of Lord Richard Best OBE, James Boyle at Infrastructure Investments Ltd and Phil Collins columnist at The Times and speech writer for Tony Blair.

The highlight of the day, most relevant to The BCFC, was the discussion on Alternative sources of finance. We appreciated the innovative and entrepreneurial directors from Crowdfunding and Peer-to-Peer lending (P2P) platforms. For the people who are unfamiliar with this alternative take on investing/gaining finance, in a nut shell it is a platform and a means of connecting the investor (lender in some cases) to the borrower or entrepreneur. The great concept with these Crowdfunding organisations is the flexibility; with the US market practically flooded with P2P and Crowdfunding the European markets remain systematically monopolized by a few platforms leaving a multitude of options open for other variations of Crowdfunding.

Yesterday we were fortunate enough to listen to a diverse board of directors from multiple Lending Platforms. It was engaging to hear the contrasting concepts from LendInvest, Assetz Capital and Funding Circle. They advised and assisted on both the Lenders approach and the Borrowers. This thought-provoking seminar provided the conference with alternative solutions to achieving affordable housing. Whilst at the same time applying additional sense and notion to the Loans industry.

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