There have been several reports talking of a significant slow down in Buy to Let purchases and pointing the finger at the increase in Stamp Duty that took effect on 1st April. But does this really mean we are on the verge of a monumental shift in attitude towards the purchase of second homes, or more specifically, Buy to Let properties?
In short I don't think so. Now and again we see spikes in house buying and more often than not Stamp Duty features in that. It might be as we come towards the end of a Stamp Duty amnesty or a change in how Stamp Duty is calculated but nevertheless people almost panic buy to get the purchase through before the changes take effect. This year was no different. In fact this year was exceptional. Not only was everyone working towards the deadline of 31st March it was also financial year end and Easter, typically one of the busiest times of the year for moving house. It stands to reason then that there was going to be a sizeable amount of people looking to complete purchases.
The increase in Stamp Duty for second homes will undoubtedly give people cause for concern but in time investors will simply build the additional expense into their budgets. Currently the market is crying out for properties to sell and understandably people may well be unsure whether it is a good time to market their properties. Rest assured though, the Buy to Let market will continue to thrive although most probably at a more consistent pace than we saw in March.
Figures for the month of February showed that landlords borrowed £3.7bn - a 61% rise on the same month in 2015.But since 1 April anyone buying a second home has had to pay a 3% surcharge on Stamp Duty.As a result many landlords have rushed through property purchases to beat the deadline.