Monday, October 17, 2005

The myth that SIPPs will give a big boost to property prices

17th Oct 2005, a Monday

The introduction of SIPPs in April will have a limited impact on either savings or house prices, a new report finds. Lee Grandin, MD of Landlord Mortgages, the UK's largest buy-to-let broker, explained: 'The advantages of investing in residential property through a SIPP will only be of interest to a relatively small proportion of the population - it is simply too costly for most consumers. Therefore I don't believe that they will have the monumental effect on the residential property market that some people are predicting.'

'You would need a pension fund of at least £80,000 and to borrow an additional £40,000 to purchase the average UK buy-to-let property. From anecdotal evidence, I really don't think that most UK consumers have this sort of money either in their pension pot or their back pocket.

'And even if they could access to this sort of capital, they can only contribute 100% of their salary or up to £215,000 (whichever is the lesser amount) into their SIPP each year. So unless they already have an existing pension fund of sufficient size, they are going to need to save for several years before you can think about investing in residential property.

'From the perspective of an existing landlord or even a holiday home owner, Sipps are also not that exciting. In order to include a property you already own into a SIPP, you would need to sell it to the schemes trustees and potentially incur a huge capital gains tax bills.'

He concluded: 'Anything, that encourages people to save for their retirement should be applauded but I really don't think that the new regulations for SIPPs will have a revolutionary effect on the residential property market or solve the pensions crisis."

There has been a lot written about the big boost to property prices that SIPP's will produce when they are introduced. I tend to agree with the view that the effect will be very limited so those looking forward to a big increase in the value of their investment property will be disappointed.

Chris Bell

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