Residential Land Press and Media Section

Call Off Duty: help stamp it out

Residential Land’s CEO & founder, Bruce Ritchie was mentioned in Property Week about stamp duty land tax.

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Property Week is calling on chancellor Philip Hammond to reverse damaging reforms to stamp duty land tax (SDLT) made by George Osborne.

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Hammond sparked anger across the residential sector last week when he swerved any mention of the controversial changes to stamp duty in his Autumn Statement.

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Now, Property Week is urging the industry to back our campaign, Call Off Duty, and help us convince Hammond to rethink the punitive regime ahead of his next Budget in March.

Top names from across the residential sector, including Berkeley, Residential Land, L&G, Mount Anvil and McCarthy & Stone, have already thrown their weight behind Call Off Duty.

“Government has to create the conditions for growth and give the industry certainty to invest. Stamp duty has the opposite effect,” said Berkeley Group chief executive Rob Perrins. “It destroys the feelgood factor and means that fewer homes get built. Everyone knows the recent changes are not working and we welcome this campaign and a good debate about how to set it right.”

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Property Week article

Bruce Ritchie
Resi Land’s Bruce Ritchie is backing Call Off Duty – find out how to join him here
Osborne’s decision to raise stamp duty at the top end of the market has made the UK one of the most heavily taxed property markets in the world, added Residential Land chief executive Bruce Ritchie.

“[The changes] were introduced without industry consultation, without knowing Brexit was going to occur and without having a manifesto remit. It is important that Property Week’s campaign expresses and exposes the unintended consequences of this wealth tax and the harm it brings,” he said.

SDLT receipts ‘much weaker than expected’
Other leading industry figures point out that it has not even boosted the Treasury coffers, citing last week’s Office for Budget Responsibility research showing SDLT receipts this year had been “much weaker than expected”.

As well as calling on Hammond to rethink the thresholds for stamp duty and levels it should be set at, we will be urging him to drop the 3% surcharge on additional homes for large-scale investors on the grounds that it is stifling the burgeoning build-to-rent (BTR) sector. Scrapping SDLT for large BTR investors would make marginal schemes viable again, boosting the number of homes built, said Dan Batterton, the head of L&G’s BTR team.

Please find the link to the full article on Property Week here: http://www.propertyweek.com/news/call-off-duty-help-stamp-it-out/5086561.article

Residential Land buys Luke House

Residential Land featured in Property Week about the recent purchase of Luke House, 3 Abbey Orchard Street, London, SW1P 2JJ

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Residential Land and joint venture partner Ivanhoé Cambridge have acquired a £60m office and residential building in Westminster.

The seven-storey building at 3-4 Abbey Orchard Street was acquired at a yield of 4.4%.

Luke House, Westminster

Known as Luke House, the 80,000 sq ft property is home to a number of government offices as well as 30 residential apartments let on assured shorthold tenancies.

Additional floors could potentially be added to the building to increase the volume of residential space or to accommodate a serviced apartment offering.

It could also be converted to offices were the apartments to become vacant.

“This off-market purchase forms part of our underlying strategy to invest in acquisitions where we see the opportunity to generate growth from enhancement and redevelopment,” said Bruce Ritchie, chief executive of Residential Land.

Please find the link to the article in Prperty Week here: http://www.propertyweek.com/news/residential-land-buys-luke-house/5086568.article

Property Week – Bruce Ritchie: It’s in the chancellor’s own interests to revise stamp duty thresholds

Bruce Ritchie, CEO and Founder of Residential Land talks to Property Week about the consequences of the current Stamp Duty thresholds.

“A lot of Britain’s success in the past 30 years has been based on free enterprise driving the economy combined with targeted support for businesses in need.

Bruce Ritchie

It is a difficult balance to achieve, but for the most part governments since the mid-1980s have succeeded in these twin goals.

The price we pay, however, is a widening national budget deficit now estimated at £19.1bn as capital expenditure outstrips tax revenue. There’s nothing innately wrong with that because as the world’s sixth-largest economy this deficit is sustainable in a low-interest rate environment and it is important to protect against our national wealth divide becoming too large.

Nevertheless, the divide is substantial enough that we are now living with a national obsession with attacking the most successful people, whose prosperity most in society actually admire and aspire to emulate.

The British have always aspired to homeownership, which for several generations has been the number-one aim for millions of families in the UK. The healthy by-product of the rise in home ownership has been newer and better homes and the whole country has benefited, so much so that residential property in the UK is now worth £6trn, compared with commercial property worth £1trn.

In recent years, though, politicians have targeted people with wealth tied up in homes worth more than £1.5m, which predominantly means families who own a home that has increased in value. They have been targeted through rises in stamp duty land tax which, because of the scale of the rise between the 5% band and the 12% top rate above £1.5m sales, is effectively a family wealth tax.

Let me explain. The average person moves home every seven years. During those seven years the majority of people are likely to start a family and require more space or need to move for work, health, education or other reasons.

For people who move home below the £500,000 stamp duty band there is a level playing field. However, for the tens of thousands of families seeking to sell one home and buy a more suitable property the penalties are harsh – with a levy of up to 12% on transactions above £1.5m. What sort of reward is that for a family’s success?

Badly backfiring

Now though, the chickens are coming home to roost after former chancellor George Osborne tried to reduce the deficit by targeting residential property with 34 tax changes between 2010 and 2016.

According to Oxford Economics research on the impact of 2014 stamp duty changes on residential properties worth more than £1m, commissioned to help new chancellor Philip Hammond (pictured) ahead of his Autumn Statement, stamp duty rises are backfiring.

In December 2014 there were about 20,000 sales per year at more than £1m per transaction. In the 12 months following the changes, 2,000 of these transactions were lost and since the EU referendum the rate has dropped by a further 2,000.

The result is an £8.3bn hit to gross domestic product, a £450m drop in wider tax receipts and the loss of 14,000-plus jobs. This is because every time a home is sold a whole list of people is involved in the transaction. Love them or hate them, builders, lawyers, accountants, mortgage brokers, bankers, insurance agents, estate agents, architects, cleaners, gardeners, removal firms, surveyors and valuers all play their part when someone moves house.

When Osborne introduced his stamp duty hikes he didn’t foresee Brexit and the slowdown

More than 85% of the 1.1 million property transactions every year in the UK are second-hand sales, and normally result in two or more people selling in a chain – so you can see how the knock-on effect multiplies. There are other more subtle but equally damaging consequences from Osborne’s stamp duty land tax hike.

A slowdown in the construction of new homes in urban areas has been compounded by the uncertainty of Brexit and has led to a lack of confidence among buyers – it is simply because anyone looking to buy a £1.5m new home is being put off by the punitive tax rate at their level of wealth.

Kick in the teeth

If a developer or housebuilder creating a large, mixed development has trouble selling the larger, family-sized £1.5m new homes they may also choose not to commence the lower-value homes planned for the whole development, meaning fewer more affordable homes are being created as well. And so we are left with an even greater disparity between the demand for new homes and the supply.

When Osborne introduced his stamp duty hikes he didn’t foresee Brexit and the inevitable slowdown it would cause in the economy. The impact on hard-working families wanting to move home is acute. It’s a kick in the teeth for tens of thousands of people who have traditionally driven this country forward.

It remains to be seen whether Hammond will recognise this and make much-needed changes in his Autumn Statement on 23 November. But to protect the national tax take and to get the housing market moving again, I urge him to explore two measures: either make a cautious adjustment to the threshold where the higher 12% stamp duty rate kicks in, or introduce a more gradual gradient leading up to the top rate between £1m and £5m.

Under the current stamp duty the ‘Laffer curve’ has come into play, with tax having been increased to a point where it is counter-productive for raising further tax revenue. By revising the thresholds the chancellor would trigger a revival in sales volumes between £1m and £3m, delivering far more tax revenue than is being collected now. And it would also ease the pressure on tens of thousands of people guilty of nothing more than wanting to move house.”

 

Finding the Balance

Balance Magazine

The word ‘balance’ is thrown around constantly when talking about lifestyle. Can it really be possible to find equilibrium between balanced diet, relationships, work and play? We are told to find the happy medium, which isn’t easy when it feels like you’re walking on a tightrope to get through your day.

Balance is a new magazine which targets the busy Londoner, where that balance can seem like an especially distant goal in the face of the hustle and bustle of city life. In fact, the magazine is distributed free of charge in all major Underground stations, offering a break from the frenzy that can be getting on the Victoria line from Green Park.

The magazines ethos can be condensed into a simple formula. Their content aims to be engaging and relevant to this formula, enhancing their readers’ awareness of the balanced life:

BE PRESENT   +   GAIN INSIGHT   –   FEAR   X   LAUGH   =   LIVE WELL.

At Residential Land, we say what’s more important to living well than where you’re living?

Finding your dream residence in the middle of the metropolis may seem like a daunting task, but we aim to make it as simple as possible, regardless of whether you’re a lifelong Londoner or if it’s your first time in the city – soon you’ll have a place to call home. We’re a landlord, rather than an agency, so there are no agency fees to help you find the perfect place in our golden postcodes, with addresses like Mayfair, Chelsea and Kensington to name but a few.

Residential Land aims to provide a constant service; it doesn’t end with you getting your keys. You’ll also have access to our dedicated maintenance service, which runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and you are always able to contact us. All of our properties have dedicated building managers, an approachable and knowledgeable figure, happy to offer advice throughout your tenancy. Whilst you are expected to maintain the property to a liveable standard, this also gives you the control over ensuring your home runs just how you want it to. If there are any bigger problems, we’ll be on hand. That’s balance.

As London’s largest private landlord, we have over 1,200 flats and houses to rent, starting from £350 a week. We operate exclusively in zones 1, 2 and 3, so you can enjoy really living in the capital. As well as being centrally placed, all our properties are specially furnished by our in-house design team, so you don’t have to worry about sourcing everything from your wardrobes to your wine-fridges. We’ve got it covered.

So, we’d like to think we’re the people to come to if you’re looking for a way to find balance between work and play in London. In the whirring machine that is this dynamic city, in-between your job, friends, family, hobbies, even your dog, Residential Land aims to be your solid core. We’ll give you the steady base, so you can find your balance and live well.

Pick up your September copy today!

Property Week – Ritchie: ‘It’s a good time to sell non-core assets’

Residential Land is one of the top stories in this weeks Property Week, with the article about the sale of three west London properties.

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Residential Land has sold three west London properties for a combined £161m as it looks to raise capital for new value-add acquisitions.

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Residential Land comment in Property Weeks article ‘Will resi run out of rocket fuel?’

Bruce Ritchie, CEO and founder of Residential Land comments in Property Week on the topic of ‘Will resi run out of rocket fuel?’

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“This will be a pivotal year as higher property taxes begin to impact the market. When George Osborne decided to hike stamp duty land tax on residential property in December 2014, he would not have guessed the national stamp duty take would fall. But that is what has happened, and a subsequent rise to up to 15% on buy-to-let investments will only cool the market further.

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Property Week feature 39 Hill Street, Mayfair

Residential Land are delighted to be featured in Property Week regarding the acquisition of 39 Hill Street in Mayfair. You can read the full article below:

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“Prime London Ventures Partnership, a joint venture between Canadian investor Ivanhoe Cambridge and Residential Land, acquired 39 Hill Street in Mayfair for £100m. The rare residential block was sold by HSP and five individual vendors in a deal that Residential Land founder Bruce Ritchie had been pursuing for 10 years. According to the company, the idea is to refurbish the block and turn it into the “Claridges of Mayfair residential”.

39 Hill Street Property Week

Residential Land acquire 39 Hill Street in Mayfair

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Residential Land is proud to announce that it has completed on a new building in the heart of Mayfair, 39 Hill Street. Bruce Ritchie, CEO and Founder of Residential Land comments in the Estates Gazette below:

By Alex Peace | Residential | 11-12-2015 | 7:00

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Ritchie: “The rarity of the building and the opportunity justifies the expense.”

Residential Land has paid £100m for a prime residential rental block in the heart of ­Mayfair, W1.

The company’s Prime London Ventures Partnership, a subsidiary of its joint venture with Ivanhoè Cambridge, has bought 39 Hill Street, an unbroken freehold building comprising 65 one- and two-bedroom flats.

Residential Land estimates the block has the potential to provide a rent roll of as much as £6m after it has been refurbished.

Chief executive Bruce Ritchie said he had been eyeing a deal to buy the site for 10 years and he intends to transform the block into “the  Claridge’s of residential in Mayfair”.

Most of the flats were sold by HSP, with five other flats in the development owned by individual vendors.

Smaller rental units, particularly in an unbroken block, are rare in prime central London.

Ritchie said: “The departure for us is that we have paid £3,000 per sq ft for it and that is more than our self-imposed limit, but the rarity of the building and the opportunity justifies the expense.”

Built in 1935, the 40,000 sq ft building originally comprised 94 studio flats. There is also a restaurant on the ground floor with a 4,000 sq ft garden.

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Residential Land expects to spend the next two to three years refurbishing the building.

Residential Land and Ivanhoè have completed more
than £400m in acquisitions since announcing the creation of a new £650m fund in February.

The partnership now has a portfolio of more than 900 central London homes with a combined value of £1.3bn.

 

 

 

 

Find all the available apartments in  39 Hill Street, Mayfair, London here >> 

Stamp duty rises are having unforeseen effects on the lower end of the residential market

Bruce Ritchie, CEO and Founder of Residential Land, talks to Property Week and CITY A.M about the impact of a Stamp Duty on the Residential market.

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In recent years we have had the perfect storm of tax changes in residential…

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Residential Land features in ‘London’s most luxurious rental homes’

Residential Land is featured in the Evening Standard’s, Homes & Property article, ‘London’s most luxurious rental homes’. Out of the 23 properties, you can find Residential Land’s properties in the first 3 slides.

London's most luxurious rental homes

London’s most luxurious rental homes

London’s most luxurious rental homes >>

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