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RICS says Sipp rush has been exaggerated

Property Sipps are likely to boost regional hotspots but will have little impact on most of the market, claims a report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

It forecasts a steady flow rather than a rush of property into Sipps. Up to 160,000 extra residential property purchases may be made over three years after A-Day, representing only a small fraction of the 4,500,000 total transactions across all asset classes forecast for that time.

By analysing pension and savings assets of UK house- holds, the report identifies who will be in a position to take advantage of the tax breaks on offer. Many potential prop- erty pensioners share the profile of existing second homeowners – male, higher-rate taxpayers aged between 45 and 64 and likely to be already exposed to the property market through buy to let.

Around 250 chartered surveyor estate agents were polled in the survey. Forty-two per cent have already received enquiries about Sipps, with 2 per cent reporting a lot of interest. Fifty-one per cent believe house prices will rise after A-Day but under 1 per cent think there will be a big rise.

The report sounds a caut-ionary note over the risk of possible misselling of “property pensions” and recommends all potential investors see an independent financial adviser before making any decisions.

RICS chief executive Louis Armstrong says: “Reports of a mad rush of property to Sipps are exaggerated. The size of the housing market means that demand can be readily absorbed in most areas. However, investors should be selective, watch out for get-rich-quick schemes and take proper professional adv- ice – preferably from a chartered surveyor.”


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No blame, no gain

I have said this before but I yield to no one in my admiration for Ros Altmann. Not only is she one of the most original thinkers around when it comes to analysing the future of retirement provision in the UK but she is also a dedicated campaigner – along with some journalists – on behalf of people left in the lurch by the wind-up of their occupational pension schemes over the past decade.

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What employers should expect over the next five years

A major feature of our articles is looking into the Jelf Employee Benefits crystal ball to predict changes and trends that may influence the short and medium term shape of UK employee benefits.  By flagging such changes early we aim to provide our followers with the tools to make sensible and informed decisions on their benefits offerings.


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