Agency franchise giant's expansion goes on despite buy to let tax change

Agency franchise giant's expansion goes on despite buy to let tax change

One of the UK's largest property franchises has reported strong figures in an interim trading statement to the City - with group revenue up 38 per cent and management service fees up 53 per cent. 

Martin & Co’s group revenue for the year ending December 31 was £7.1m, up from £5.2m the year before. It had expanded its UK-wide footprint to 287 offices, slightly up from the 282 reported at the end of 2014.

The group remains heavily weighted towards lettings with around 45,000 tenanted managed properties. 

Martin & Co chief excutive Ian Wilson says that while recent government intervention in buy to let will increase the tax burden for individual investors “the fundamental drivers for expansion of the UK private rented sector over the past decade remain in place” thanks to high net migration, a restricted supply of new housing stock with affordability and deposit hurdles for first time buyers, and pension reform unlocking pension funds for the over-55s.  

He says total returns from buy to let investment over the past decade has outperformed most other asset classes as the prospect of owning a privately rented property to generate income in retirement and benefit from rising capital values remains attractive.

“We are well positioned to sell investment properties if investors do decide to exit, and our research suggests that larger investors will purchase this stock. Buy to let investors have generally reduced gearing in their portfolios over the years since 2008 and are well positioned to absorb rising interest rates” says Wilson.

“We remain positive about the outlook for our core lettings business, from which 76 per cent of our franchise royalty income is derived."

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