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Fewer people purchasing buy-to-lets

Significantly fewer people acquired buy-to-let properties in Q3 2018, HMRC figures have showed.

Additional properties, for which stamp duty land tax is payable at the standard rate plus 3%, have seen a fall of 11% (7,400) compared to the same period in 2017.

And Hamptons showed that the number of homes bought by landlords had dropped by a third over the last three years with a 13% decrease last year alone.

Michael Lynn, chief executive at Relendex, said: “Property remains an investable asset class, however there is a trend borne out by these figures that people are moving away from investment in buy-to-let.

“There are several reasons for this including the higher rate of stamp duty land tax, the lack of access to funds and the uncertainty caused by Brexit.

“These factors all leave investors looking for new and innovative ways to maximise their savings.  Peer-to-Peer allows lenders to invest in specific property projects and access their money when they want it through an active resale market.

“What’s more, lenders can get high returns on their money, on average 8%, whilst having the security of knowing that they have invested in a stable asset. It is important that Peer-to-Peer investment properties are treated with the same care and attention that would be put into a buy-to-let.

“Loans should be secured on the properties themselves and have a loan to value ratio which safeguards the investment and that money will be paid back.

“If this is done correctly Peer-to-Peer allows lenders to get the returns associated with buy-to-let without having the hassle of managing the property themselves.”

The higher rate stamp duty land tax was introduced in 2016 for those purchasing second properties which includes buy-to lets.

Between Q2 and Q3 2018 additional dwellings transactions increased by 7% to 58,400. Compared to last year, it has fallen by 11% (7,400).

For the last four quarters additional dwellings have made up about 24% of all liable transactions and have generally increased as a proportion of residential transactions.

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Haart Says Government Must Increase Buy To Let Support

The government needs to increase the support it extends to buy to let investors, according to Haart estate agents.

The government needs to begin supporting investors or it will see significant numbers of landlords exiting the buy to let market says Haart. This will lead to a sharp decline in rental property listings.

The call for further support comes amidst the government consultation for longer tenancies. Without greater incentives for buy to let landlords, many will not be prepared to offer longer tenancies. They will then leave the market. This will contribute towards the already-exiting supply and demand imbalance in the private rental sector that is beginning to push rental prices higher, adding more pressure on tenants.

Prospects for the sector without further incentives are looking worrying. The latest data from UK Finance found that gross mortgage lending rose by 7.6 per cent to £24.6 billion in July 2018 year on year. This was ahead of this month’s base rate rise.

However, activity in the buy to let sector did not grow. This is likely due to increasingly punitive tax measures levied by the government, such as reducing mortgage interest relief to the basic rate of income tax and adding a 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge to the purchase of additional homes.

12 per cent fewer landlords are purchasing properties in comparison to the same time last year.

CEO of Haart estate agents, Paul Smith, commented: ‘Mortgage lending jumped a huge 8 per cent on the year in July as existing homeowners sought to seal themselves into a lower rate ahead of the Bank of England’s interest rate hike. The buy to let sector is a fundamental part of the UK property market, and with fewer landlords, we are seeing rents rise. The government must stop penalising those who are willing to invest in the rental market and stop its needless crackdown on the sector.’

Source: Residential Landlord

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Record number of landlords selling their buy-to-let properties

In April letting agents saw the highest number of landlords selling their buy-to-let properties since records began in 2015, with the number of landlords exiting the market rising to five per branch from four in March.

ARLA Propertymark found in March, the figure rose for the first time in almost a year, to four landlords per branch, after sitting at three landlords consistently since April 2017.

The number of prospective tenants registered per member branch continued to rise, increasing by 9% in April. In March, agents had 66 tenants on their books on average, compared to 72 in April. This is the strongest demand seen since September, when there were 79 registered per branch.

David Cox, ARLA Propertymark, chief executive, said: “The barrage of legislative changes landlords have faced over the past few years, combined with political uncertainty has meant the BTL market is becoming increasingly unattractive to investors.

“Landlords are either hiking rents for tenants or choosing to exit the market altogether to avoid facing the increased costs incurred.

“This in turn is hitting renters most, at a time when a huge number of people rely on the rented sector, and leaves us with the question of where will these people find alternative homes?

“As demand for private rented homes massively continues to outstrip supply, the government can no longer divert its attention from the broken housing market.

“The recent news that the government is regulating the industry is a step in the right direction, but ultimately we just need more homes.”

The number of tenants experiencing rent hikes increased to 26% in April – the highest since September 2017 when 27% of landlords put rents up for tenants. Year-on-year, this has risen from 24% in April 2017.

The number of rental properties letting agents managed remained the same as the previous month in April, with 179 on average per branch

Year-on-year, this figure is low. In April 2017, agents managed a similar 185 per branch but in April 2016, they managed 185 and 193 were recorded in 2015.

Source: Mortgage Introducer