Property sales set to slow when buy-to-let surge comes to an end

Property sales set to slow when buy-to-let surge comes to an end

Since the chancellor announced at the end of last year that buy-to-let investors will be charged three per cent more for Stamp Duty tax from April 2016, there has been a real spike in the number of home sales nationwide. However, this spike will come to an end very soon as the number of landlords looking to beat the deadline slows. 

In the latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), it was revealed that those working in the property industry expect to see a slower next three months for the sector as a whole. 

When last asked, some 74 per cent of respondents to the RICS survey said they expected to see a increase in sales, largely due to the expected surge in buy-to-let investment. However, with the April deadline now looming large, this has fallen as low as 17 per cent in the new survey. 

"Over the past three months, we have witnessed a surge in buy-to-let activity. Since the chancellor made his Autumn Statement announcement last November, investors have rushed to purchase homes before the Stamp Duty surcharge comes into effect. It is inevitable that over the coming months, April’s Stamp Duty changes will take a little of the heat out of the investor market," said Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist.

In addition to a slowing in the number of homes that are likely to be sold in the next few months, the study also shows that the majority of surveyors nationwide expect to see this have a negative impact on the rate of house price growth. 

Of those surveyed, only 21 per cent are expecting to see house prices climbing in the next three months, with the lower number of properties for sale likely to see less competition among buyers, bringing about a more balanced market in terms of rising prices than we've seen amid the rush for investment stock.