Buy-to-let investors increasing demand for UK property

Buy-to-let investors increasing demand for UK property

The buy-to-let market was behind a swell in demand for property towards the end of the year, and is likely to continue to push this even higher in the next few months, according to a new report from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). 

Towards the end of last year, the chancellor George Osborne announced that people buying second homes, a group that includes landlords, would face a three per cent levy on stamp duty charges as of April 2016. RICS believes this announcement has sparked interest from investors, who are looking to purchase before the charge comes into play. 

It said that December saw 16 per cent more surveyors reporting a rise in the number of instructions from buyers. This was the first time since the start of 2015 that there had been a month on month rise in demand, and it pushed this metric to its highest level in three months. 

"The housing market has experienced an unusually buoyant December. Those in the industry have been speculating that this is the result of the Chancellor’s announcement last November," said RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn. 

"Potential buy to let investors are looking to pick up properties before the increased stamp duty levy comes into force next April. If that is the case, then we can expect to see the housing market heating up further over the next few months," he added. 

This belief from RICS that the buy-to-let market was behind the rise in demand throughout December was aided by the fact that respondents to the survey suggested the same. 

Chartered surveyor Robert Green of Chelsea based estate agent John D Wood & Co said that the announcement of stamp duty changes had some effect on the market, as such changes always do, and added that it brought more investors who would be affected by the new rules to the table for the first time in months as they seek to beat the April deadline.