A national surveying and valuations firm has confirmed that landlords are rushing to purchase buy-to-let properties, after predictions that many investors will seek to complete buys before tax changes in April.
Connells Survey & Valuation reported that it conducted a huge 86% more buy-to-let valuations in December than in the same month of the previous year.
Although this figure represents a slight monthly drop of 1%, this is far less than the traditional seasonal declines in other types of valuations, notably for home movers, first time buyers and those remortgaging.
Valuations Firm Confirms that Landlords are Rushing to Buy
The Director of the firm, John Bagshaw, comments: “December’s results are a reflection of the ever-increasing demand for homes as investment opportunities, as buy-to-let landlords join home movers seeking to make some sort of profit from their property.”
He adds: “The added factor of the April 1st Stamp Duty increase has spurred many investors who might have been sitting on the fence to take the plunge and enter the buy-to-let market before its profitability takes a hit.”1
From 1st April, buy-to-let investors and second home buyers will be charged an extra 3% in Stamp Duty. In addition, landlords will face cuts to their mortgage interest tax relief and the restrictions applied to the Wear and Tear Allowance. Read more here: /tax-experts-express-confusion-over-new-wear-and-tear-allowance/
As a result, estate agents are forecasting a surge in springtime sales in the buy-to-let sector.
When the tax changes are implemented, they expect the buy-to-let market to slow down, which could potentially boost the number of first time buyers getting onto the property ladder.
The Director of Situ Homes, Oliver Knight, reports: “In 2015, landlords accounted for one in four property sales. After April, we expect this to reduce significantly, perhaps paving the way for more first time buyers to secure a home.”2
Chairman of the Hunters group, John Ozwell, gives his predictions for the midlands: “We are expecting a flurry of investors buying property to let before April because of the changes introduced by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement. It will be a busy start to the New Year for the property market across the region.
“We expect sales and listings to be running at the same level which we have experienced since last summer, or perhaps slightly up on that.
“2015 was a good year for the midland market. In 2016, property prices are expected to keep rising, by approximately 4% to 5%. There will continue to be shortage of stocks throughout the UK, particularly properties for first time buyers, making the market even more competitive and driving up sales and prices.
“With interest rates forecast to stay low throughout the year – possibly just seeing a small rise – banks and building societies will have even better deals available, again strengthening the market here in the midlands.”2