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13 April 2016

‘Weaker interest’ among buy-to-let investors

The recent hike in stamp duty for buy-to-let investors already appears to be taking its toll on the market, research indicates.

Last month saw a 27% dip in interest among buy-to-let investors regarding new properties compared to the same period of last year, Rightmove said.

The property website added that despite the reduction in interest among landlords, enquiries were up from house hunters more generally.

At the start of this month, a stamp duty hike of three percentage points came into force for those buying second properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Despite the March slump, Rightmove said a strong growth in interest was seen in February for buy-to-let homes, as people rushed to beat the deadline.

Sam Mitchell, Rightmove's head of lettings, said: "This waning of interest definitely seems to predict a slowdown in the buy-to-let market, but what's not yet clear is if this will only turn out to be a short-term pause.

"It could be that some investors are waiting until the tax changes have some time to bed in before they review their business and continue to make purchases."

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