There has been a sharp decline in the number of buy-to-let property acquisitions, following the government’s decision to introduce the 3% stamp duty surcharge and phase out mortgage interest relief, fresh research shows.
The latest data exposes the scale of the decline in buy-to-let property purchases by revealing that the number of buy-to-let investors registering to buy properties is down 30% year-on-year.
And while there has been some recovery since the damaging introduction of a stamp duty surcharge last April, there is still a long way to go until the property market is back to full health, according to Paul Smith, CEO of haart estate agents, who has described the prime minister Theresa May’s legacy on home ownership as a “disaster”.
He commented: “Data from our own branches shows that the number of landlords registering to buy is down 30% on the year across England and Wales, and it is clear that far fewer landlords are investing in property.”
Smith fears that the fall in the number of people investing in the buy-to-let market could have “serious long-term consequences” for the rental market and lead to higher rents, putting those who are trying to save for a deposit in an even more difficult position.
He continued: “Affordability is clearly reaching a critical juncture as the average loan size increases whilst the average income decreases.
“Although rising first-time buyer borrowing demonstrates the appetite for home ownership in the UK, young people should not be left to stretch beyond their means, and Government should intervene with a tax break as a quick and straight-forward way to help them get onto the ladder.
“Theresa May’s legacy on home ownership has so far been a disaster. The ‘just about managing’ are further away from owning their own home than they ever have been, and the government’s feeble housing white paper did not go anywhere near enough to get housebuilders building and the market moving.”