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Buy to let back in favour three years after SDLT surcharge, says agent

Three years after the introduction of the second homes stamp duty surcharge, landlords are “beginning to come to terms with the additional costs and are cautiously entering the market again” according to a leading agent.

Paul Smith, chief executive of haart, says his branches across England and Wales saw a monthly rise of 7.9 per cent in the number of landlords registering to buy, a figure which has been continuing to grow since the start of 2019.

“Interestingly, sale prices to landlords are down by nearly 12 per cent on the year which may be spurring on this activity. These price decreases could be causing the available stock to fall within lower stamp duty thresholds, making the stamp duty levy a little easier to stomach” he says. 

However, Smith concedes that even with the boost so far in 2019, the year-on-year picture makes for difficult reading. 

“The number of registrations is still down 22 per cent on the year. Whilst some brave souls are re-entering the market, the hammering buy to let investors received in terms of various tax changes is still fresh in many of their minds” he says.

“Clearly investors are recognising the value that can still be found in buy to let property, especially in comparison to the overvalued and faltering stock market. Although the property market hinges on confidence, the FTSE 100, gold and cash are far more volatile to socioeconomic impact, so investors are increasingly returning to property where they deem their money safest, and where the yields are highest” adds Smith.

He says that the housing market as a whole improved in March with transactions up 11 per cent on the year and new buyer registrations up 23 per cent.

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