Stamp duty rise 'will trigger buy-to-let stampede'


Prospective home buyers will clamour to complete on buy-to-lets and second properties before a planned stamp duty rise next year, a think tank has warned.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) predicts a "rush" on buyers looking to complete ahead of the 3% rise in stamp duty on some homes, as outlined in Chancellor George Osborne's spending review, due to come in at the start of the new financial year.

The IFS described the rise in stamp duty as unjustified and said the move will, in the long term, depress the property market.

It also suggested that landlords are likely to pass the cost on to their tenants in the form of higher rents.

Stuart Adams, a senior research economist at the IFS, said: "Properties will be worth less because potential landlords and potential homeowners won't be willing to pay as much for them.

"If property developers don't feel they're going to get as much for them, then there's less incentive to develop it.

"Thinking about the longer-term effect, at the margin the policy is likely to raise owner-occupation rates.

"It will make rental properties and second homes more expensive and therefore discourage the purchase of properties for that purpose.

"It may well also reduce house prices and might also increase rents if it feeds through."

Experts predicted some 50,000 buyers could attempt to complete their sales before the deadline.

Earlier Lord Kerslake, a former head of the Civil Service, described the Government's focus on private home ownership as "both wrong and potentially counter-productive" to the effort to solve Britain's housing crisis.