The Effect Of The Pension Reform On The Property Market In The Cotswolds

case study

(27th March 2014) South Cerney – Chancellor Osbourne’s recent 2014 UK Budget threw-up a surprise with the announcement that Britain’s over 55’s are going to be released from annuity stipulations.  This means that suddenly pensioners could have access to large sums of money to invest in something with a good rate of return.  There is subsequent industry talk of a new property boom, fuelled by the new ‘cash rich’ grey market and Jules Miller-Cheevers, Sales and Marketing Director of Watermark, the lakeside property development in The Cotswolds comments:

“Following the pension reform announced in the budget, we are anticipating a number of those aged over 55 years will wish to put their freed-up cash into a managed holiday home as this investment bodes well for capital appreciation if selected prudently – and provides an investment that can be enjoyed! It is also possible to leave a property to offspring which is an added benefit that pensioners did not previously have with their annuities whilst tied-up in an insurance company! “

With the next general election not so far away in spring 2015, it is anticipated that people will be playing safe in the interim; in case of a change in political party and a resulting Mansion Tax.  Watermark is expecting to see a price hike in prime country locations, such as The Cotswolds as savvy homeowners ensure they keep under the £2 million mansion tax threshold in case of such a sudden change in policy. This is likely to fuel demand for country properties in the £875,000 to £1.2 million bracket – allowing still enough cash to also purchase a property in the city and whilst keeping below the £2 million mark.

For pensioners or double lifers looking for a hassle-free holiday home or buy-to-let investment, Watermark is an ideal option as all properties are fully managed and maintained by Watermark’s onsite team.   A concierge service is also available and owners benefit from 24 hour security.  Holiday homes can be rented when not in use, generating a valuable income at the same time as offering a perfect sanctuary for owners when needed. Watermark offers a comprehensive letting and management service so owners can relax knowing that their investment is in safe hands. With an average occupancy of 60% annually, owners at Watermark with homes based on one of the lakes achieve approximately 6% per year.

The excellent transport connections make the idea of spending the weekend in the country, or working from home and commuting to the capital realistic.  Transport links from nearby Swindon or Kemble into Paddington provide a breezy one hour and twenty minute direct train ride.

Onsite, the adventurous can take advantage of fantastic international class water-ski lakes, whilst those more comfortable off the water, than on it, have access to some excellent fishing spots. With excellent walking and cycling routes around the lakes and numerous horse riding centres based locally, home owners are unlikely to tire of visiting the area. All owners at Watermark get added value with the use of membership to the adjacent Four Pillars Hotel gym and spa and the nearby golf clubs – Wrag Barn and South Cerney. The abundance of activities to hand mean there are year round options to both owners and visitors which combats the unpredictable English weather and importantly drives rental returns.


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