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‘Budget boost’ for buy-to-let market

A residential property expert is expecting the buy-to-let market to receive increased interest from pensioners looking for alternative investments.

The recent Budget announcement outlined Government plans to scrap the rules that force savers to use their pensions to buy an annuity, meaning they will be able to withdraw money directly.

Now Sarah Barnes, head of Residential Property at Napthens solicitors, has predicted that the buy-to-let property market will receive a shot-in-the-arm from the news.

Sarah also points out that the first-time-buyer market may also be given a boost by the new pension regulations as grandparents look to help children or grandchildren onto the property market with the newly available funds.

She said: “The buy-to-let market has been a successful investment for many in recent years, and this latest announcement comes as prices are on the rise meaning it could be even more attractive.

“Recent figures from the Halifax show that prices increased by 7.9 per cent between December 2013 and February 2014 compared to the same period last year. The average price in the North West was up more than 10 per cent.

“The Help to Buy scheme has also worked to aid buyers who are looking to step onto the property ladder.

“I would expect to see the market continue to improve as pensioners begin to look at alternative investment strategies for themselves, and also as they look to lend or gift money to younger relatives to assist them in purchases.

“The only danger is that the market improves too quickly – we are looking for a real, sustainable improvement, not a short-term bubble.”