NEWS: Referendum time
Brexit, we have been told, could cause a variety of problems, the biggest of which (by some margin) is World War Three. On the other hand, it has also been suggested that staying in the EU would be tantamount to appeasing Hitler.
Yes: we've not had the most edifying or rational of debates in the run-up to the EU referendum. But at least it's here: the month when we put our cross in the box marked Britain 'in' or 'out' of Europe. There is, though, just time to squeeze in one more in/out warning. Echoing similar sentiments from the International Monetary Fund and the National Association of Estate Agents, Chancellor George Osborne has said that houses could be worth up to 18% less by 2018 if the UK votes to leave. Energy minister Andrea Leadsom from Vote Leave, meanwhile, said this was “an extraordinary claim” and that “the greatest threat to the economy is the perilous state of the euro.”
So that's just as confusing as ever, then. Roll on 23 June.
NEWS: Rules and regulations
It's been a turbulent time for the rental industry of late, with new rules coming into force that could make a significant impact on the market. The recent additional 3% stamp duty on second homes, for instance, has been followed by a regulation (first announced in the summer budget) that landlords won't be able to deduct 'wear and tear' from rental receipts before income tax is applicable. Some pundits believe that both of these measures will push up the price of rents; and one survey found that the stamp duty rise on second homes would discourage three-quarters of landlords from buying more properties.
In other headlines, the National Audit Office has found that The Green Deal — the government's energy-saving programme that folded last July — cost taxpayers £240million, but failed to deliver 'meaningful benefit' on energy and carbon emissions. Only 14,000 households took out Green Deal loans.
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