Buy-to-let property market 'has recovered after stamp duty hike'

Interest in the buy-to-let property market from investors has bounced back following a stamp duty hike for the sector in April, according to a property website.

Rightmove said the number of number of inquiries from landlords and investors about buy-to-let property purchases was up by nearly a third (30%) in September compared with May.

On April 1, a three percentage point stamp duty increase came into force for people buying second homes, including buy-to-let properties, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Stamp duty has been abolished in Scotland, but a similar tax increase came into force to mirror the changes in the rest of the UK.

Estate agents reported a rush of buy-to-let investors snapping up properties ahead of the April 1 tax increase, and reports have suggested interest in the market slipping back immediately after it came into force.

Rightmove's head of lettings Sam Mitchell said: "Investor activity has bounced back following the stamp duty changes, though some agents report that many investors are looking to knock sellers down on their asking prices to make up for the additional stamp duty they now need to pay."

The website also said many seaside town home purchases were paying off for investors looking outside London.

Rightmove said properties in St Leonards-on-Sea, in East Sussex, and Clacton-on-Sea and Westcliff-on-Sea, both in Essex, tended to be making particularly strong returns for those who made last-minute purchases before April 1, taking into account house price rises in recent months as well as the rents landlords can typically expect to make in these areas.

For example, in the first quarter of 2016, the average price tag on a home in Westcliff-on-Sea was £203,860, but by the third quarter of this year it had increased by nearly £20,000 to reach £223,268.

Mr Mitchell said: "Essex and other commuter spots are offering investors the best total returns, and those looking at long-term investments are seeking out areas with upcoming improved transport links."

Ten properties you really can afford
See Gallery
Ten properties you really can afford

This two-bedroom red-brick terrace looks in good nick, with an attractive Shaker-style kitchen - although the bathroom is a little bit scruffy. Close to local shops, schools and bus routes, it has a separate lounge and dining room, with two bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor. Outside there's a rear yard. It's available for £27,500 from agent Reeds Rains.

You get a lot for your money in South Glamorgan: a house with a large through lounge, kitchen and two other rooms, currently used for utility and storage space. There are three bedrooms and a bathroom - unfortunately, downstairs. Outside there's a garden with stunning views, and there's even a double garage. It's on the market for £34,950 with agent Property Solutions Wales.

This one-bedroom flat is in a purpose-built block with communal gardens and parking in Preston's Ingol suburb, a couple of miles from Preston station. It has a 15-foot-square reception room, with a small but attractive separate kitchen, and the bedroom's a reasonable size. There's double glazing and electric heating. Agent Farrell Heyworth is offering it for £20,000.

This second-floor flat is tiny - but then it's also very cheap for the south-east. It consists of one studio room with kitchen area measuring just 13'5" by 11'5" feet, plus a separate bathroom. There's laminate flooring and built-in wardrobes and kitchen cupboards, as well as a balcony for when the walls start to feel as if they're closing in. It costs just £47,950 through agents Shiebert & Co.

Stoke-on-Trent's one of the cheapest places in the country, as this one-bedroom, ground floor flat shows. Near the city centre, it has a good-sized, 13'5" x 11'5" lounge and separate kitchen. The bedroom's a decent size too. There's electric heating, double glazing and a security intercom; you can find out more about the £34,950 property from agent Dale & Collins.

This two-bedroom flat, in a well-maintained block, is attractive and in excellent condition. There's a smart bathroom and a very nice kitchen. The flat has gas central heating and double glazing. Pattinson Estate Agents are looking for offers over £24,950.

The price of this mid-terrace house has just been cut by a massive 20% - which equates to a less-than-massive £10,000. With three bedrooms and a cosy sitting room, it's decorated in a dramatic but appealing style, with an attractive fireplace in the sitting room. As you've probably worked out, it's now up for sale at £40,000, from the Express Estate Agency.

This two-bedroom flat is staggeringly cheap, and only needs a little refurbishment - new flooring, mainly. There's a huge reception room - over twenty feet long - which opens into a good-sized kitchen area. There's plenty of parking behind the block. The flat costs £22,000 from agent Crofts.

Small but perfectly formed, this one-bedroom house in Accrington needs some work inside: the kitchen has only a sink unit, though there's a gas point for a cooker and it's plumbed for a washing machine. There's a shared yard behind. It costs £19,950 through agent Mortimers.

You can barely buy a small car for the price of this studio flat in Cumbernauld. Entered via a courtyard, it has a large entrance vestibule and a hallway with storage. There's a good-sized studio room with with a recess to house the bed, and a serviceable fitted kitchen and bathroom. Agents Village Estates are looking for offers over £9,500.


Read Full Story