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Market 'reacting to buy-to-let reforms'

By Margaret Canning

Published 06/09/2016

Eglantine Avenue has always been popular with students
Eglantine Avenue has always been popular with students

Houses used for student lets are going on the market in growing numbers as a crackdown on buy-to-let takes effect, it's been claimed.

It comes as eight properties on Eglantine Avenue in south Belfast go on the market for £525,000 in total, along with four apartments on Ireton Street for £250,000.

Economist Andrew Webb said investors were reacting to ex-Chancellor George Osborne's buy-to-let reforms and to a trend for universities and developers to build modern accommodation in Belfast city centre.

Mr Webb said Mr Osborne last year launched a "severe" raid on landlords when he scaled back the ability to offset mortgage interest against rental income. "Now, if you are a higher rate tax payer, the new tax will wipe out your gains if the mortgage interest is 75% or more of rental income," he added.

And he said developments of student accommodation which were winning planning permission in the city centre presented a "very compelling offer".

"This higher end accommodation really matters for the universities as they have set themselves very ambitious targets on attracting international students who demand quality accommodation."

Belfast Telegraph

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