Anyone who thought the buy to let sector’s recent anger at higher government taxes may have been misplaced may wish to look at figures which show the stamp duty paid on investment properties purchased in the third quarter of 2016.
Data from HMRC shows that one in four properties bought in the third quarter of this year was a second home or buy to let; of the 235,000 property transactions incurring any stamp duty, now fewer than 56,100 were BTLs or holiday properties attracting a stamp duty surcharge drawing in another £44m.
HMRC has so far this year made £670m from buy to let and second homes, despite most of these so-called "additional properties" actually costing less than £250,000 and so attracting minimal or no stamp duty.
This appears to fly in the face of pessimistic observers who feared the surcharge would kill off demand for additional homes.
“While landlords are the ones paying the tax, it is in fact tenants that are footing the bill in higher rents. If the government’s aim is to provide a home for all, taking £700 million from hardworking tenants is a self-defeating move” says a spokesman for ARLA.
Legal & General Mortgage Club director Jeremy Duncombe says: “Given the turbulence in Britain’s political landscape in the last six months, it’s reassuring to see that today’s statistics have not shown a drastic drop in transaction numbers. It is comforting to see that the number of property transactions under £250,000 is continuing to rise even if higher value property transactions have declined year on year.”