British expats urged to take long-term view on buy-to-let properties

An unwelcome tax increase of rental properties in the UK should not put expat investors off buying a property in Britain, a Channel Islands-based bank claims.

Skipton International managing director, Jim Coupe said investors needed to look at the 3 per cent increase in British stamp duty land tax on ‘additional rental properties', from the perspective of what they hope to gain from the asset.

"While this is clearly not a welcome decision, most expat investors view UK property as a long-term investment and hence, a 3 per cent rise over the lifetime of a property should be seen in that context.

"Some UK property experts are suggesting that this increase could result in higher future rents as landlords pass on increased stamp duty costs to tenants. There is also the possibility rents may rise if the number of investors in UK property drops.

"Despite the move, property in the UK is regarded by many as a very attractive, secure investment and we do not foresee a rise in stamp duty deterring the majority of investors."

The tax increase will come into effect from 1 April 2016.

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