The bright-line test is being pushed out to five years, making it even less attractive to become a property trader. There aren’t many flippers who specialise in the apartment market, but this change will add to the suppression of property speculation. Most of our clients are long-term investors, so this isn’t likely to be a big change.
There’s also a possibility that ring-fencing may be ruled out this year under the new Labour-led government. That means you will no longer be able to offset a loss from a rental property against your taxable income – you’ll pay more tax. That change would make negatively-geared properties far less attractive but could make apartments more appealing with their higher yields and better possibility for positive cashflow.
Remember, it’s the end of the financial year this month, so you need to get your property accounts in order. Don’t forget you can write off any chattels you threw out of a furnished apartment if you had them included in the value. Talk to your accountant for specific tax advice about your properties and make sure you’re meeting all your tax obligations.