The proportion of homes bought last month by buy to let investors plummeted to a record low of just eight per cent.
The figure - produced by the research department of Countrywide’s high-end brand Hamptons International - contrasts sharply with 14 per cent recorded for the same month last year.
In December 2019, landlords bought 20 per cent of the residential properties transacted in London - last month, it was merely four per cent.
Not only did March see the rapid spread of the Coronavirus throughout the UK in the second half of the month, but it was also the final weeks before the tax changes which mean landlords can no longer deduct mortgage expenses from income made from rent.
The National Residential Landlords Association’s policy director Chris Norris says: “The fall in landlord purchases is not surprising. Tax increases, proposed changes to possession rules and other regulatory changes had already led to a fall-off in investment. The coronavirus has just added to this.
“This is all leading to a serious housing crisis in the private rented sector unless the government changes tack and starts supporting landlords, giving them the confidence to start investing again so that supply is able to meet the rising demand.”