As you are probably no doubt aware, the new stamp duty rules are in force, meaning huge numbers of buy to let investors will face an additional 3% surcharge on their purchases. This is the latest in a vast array of measures introduced by the government, attacking landlords and property investors. It follows the changes to treatment of finance costs, abolishment of the wear and tear allowance, capital gains tax alterations, amongst others.
The Evening Standard today published data by haart, which suggests the number of buy-to-let investors has slumped by more than 50% since the introduction of a 3% stamp duty rise. The CEO of Haart, Paul Smith, was quoted as saying: <em>””This is of course very good news for first-time buyers. We have seen a significant fall in buy-to-let activity since the introduction of the surcharge. In the first two weeks of April, the number of buy-to-let purchases was down by more than 55% on the same time in March.””</em> Due to this slump in investors, Haart calculates that the sales price of 1 and 2 bedroom flats has fallen by nearly 7% compared to last month. The report also notes that buyers could expect to see average savings of around £20,000.
In other news today, Tom Brake, the MP for Carshalton and Wallington, has written to the Evening Standard to reveal he is proposing a Bill in the House of Commons, calling for a change in the law to give more protection to private sector tenants. Tom Brake’s proposals would scrap unfair lettings fees for tenants and would require all landlords to register and give more support to councils in prosecuting private landlords in cases of poor property conditions.
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