Property experts advocate caution over CGT sales

There are between 250,000 and 270,000 second homers and thousands of buy-to-let landlords who will be affected by any increase.

Conservative MPs David Davis and John Redwood are leading criticism that entrepreneurs and savers will suffer and researchers from the Adam Smith Institute have claimed that, far from increasing revenue, the change is likely to discourage investment and decrease revenue because people will be more reluctant to buy and sell.

However, Strutt & Parker says it is not experiencing second home sales driven purely by CGT.

Strutt & Parker experts advise property owners not to panic and warn that a stampede of second home panic sales would have a very detrimental effect on the market. Their greatest concerns lie with the buy-to-let sector which is more financially driven.

Michael Fiddes, Head of Agency at Strutt & Parker, says: "The devil will be in the detail. My view is that a lot of people buying second homes do so as a lifestyle choice rather than an investment so tax implementation will not be a real driver.

"For second home owners, even when taxed at 40%, property still does better than all other competing investments which are also subject to the same GCT rates. Additionally, CGT was 40% until 18 months ago, so I doubt it will be much of a shock to the system.

"The buy-to-let market is where my real concern lies because this is a much more financial decision, and I fear many investors will be put off by CGT, which will in turn have a desolate effect on those at the bottom end of the market due to a severe lack of rental properties."

Fiddes adds: "There always appears to be concerns over what might be around the corner and, as in previous situations, worst-case scenarios which include the words ‘retrospective’ often tend to be based upon unfounded fears. To sell by June 22 this year, you could act in haste and end up repenting at leisure."

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