The research team at high-end lettings and estate agency Savills says the controversial three per cent ‘additional property’ stamp duty introduced by Chancellor George Osborne will push buy to let investors increasingly towards purchasing smaller apartments.
Lucian Cook, head of research at the agency, says the combination of recently-announced tax relief reductions for landlords, the stamp duty surcharge and the highly-likely mortgage constraints to be introduced next spring make it difficult for many would-be landlords to take the plunge, or for small-scale existing landlords to expand.
But those who do continue buying stock will “increase their focus on less expensive properties with a lower overall stamp duty liability that also delivers a higher income yield and are therefore better able to generate a cash surplus.”
Cook endorses the views of many in the industry who have warned that the extra duty may be passed on to tenants in the form of higher rents.
“In itself the [new stamp duty] policy is unlikely to substantially increase access to home ownership, meaning that unless other government policies achieve this goal, it may also contribute to greater house-and flat-shares among renters” he warns.