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Posted on February 1st 2016 by admin-movingin

Shares of buy-to-let firms hit as tax changes for landlords get nearer

Original Author: Rosalind Renshaw 

While Purplebricks’ shares have put in a startling recovery, ending on Friday at 98p, just below their flotation price, shares in companies operating in the buy-to-let sector have been hit hard. Millions of pounds have been wiped off their value.

The 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax surcharge on buy-to-let purchases, which kicks in on April 1, has dragged down shares in specialist lender Paragon by 35%.

The lender has, however, reported better than expected results for the first quarter of its financial year.

Reporting on the three months to December – Osborne announced the surcharge on November 25 – Paragon grew underlying operating profits by 14% to £35.2m.

Paragon Group reported its positive story last Wednesday but nevertheless ended last week with shares at 318p, way down from a high of 455p last May.

It has been a similar story for Martin & Co, whose share price stood at 196p last November but finished last week at 135p.

Like Paragon, it also very recently reported a strong performance, this time in a trading update for the financial year ending on December 31.

It reported group revenue up 38% to £7.1m, with chief executive Ian Wilson reassuring jittery shareholders: “We do not envisage the Government’s recent changes to the buy-to-let sector significantly impacting on our business.

“We are well positioned to sell investment properties if investors do decide to exit, and our research suggests that larger investors will purchase this stock.”

Belvoir has also seen its share prices sink badly since Osborne’s announcement.

The shares hit a 52-week low on Friday at 94p, although they did rally a little to finish at 97.50.

That compares with a high of 135p last June – which was pretty much the value of Belvoir shares as George Osborne stood up to make his Stamp Duty surcharge announcement.