Concerning new research suggests that thousands of landlords will be forced to sell their properties in the coming years, following George Osborne’s tax changes on the buy-to-let sector.
The study was conducted by estate agent Maskells and concludes that changes to stamp duty, mortgage tax relief and lending criteria will make it harder to make substantial profits from buy-to-let. In turn, this could see landlords driving up rents and deterring potential renters.
Apart from the extra 3% stamp duty surcharge being imposed from April 1st, the amount that landlords can claim in mortgage interest tax relief is to be limited from 2017. This, it is feared, will cut landlords’ returns, especially higher rate taxpayers.
Maskells suggest that the tax measures imposed by Mr Osborne will see an additional 163,000 homes come onto the market by 2017/18. These, the estate agent believes, will be as a direct result of the changes.
In some areas, this could result in an oversupply of homes for sales, which in turn will put downward pressure on property prices.
Charles Curran, principal at Maskells, commented that, ‘the buy-to-let market has provided so much of the rental stock the country depends on, but the government’s tinkering could lead to a sell-off.’
‘This situation does seem akin to a slow motion train crash: buy-to-let landlords with mortgages are standing on the track in a game of chicken with regulatory locomotive, hoping to time their exit as best as possible. This high-risk game will almost undoubtedly leave casualties,’ he added.