UK house prices: Stamp duty reforms are forcing landlords to give up buy-to-let investing - or even ditch their portfolios altogether

Helen Cahill
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Landlords will be hit by the changes on 1 April (Source: Getty)

More than half of landlords are planning to halt investments into buy-to-let homes, new research has revealed - weeks before April’s stamp duty hike is due to come in.

Figures from the crowdfunding platform Property Partner show 59 per cent of landlords are planning to scrap investments into traditional buy-to-let properties, or are intending to sell some of their existing properties.

The news comes two and a bit weeks before chancellor George Osborne’s three per cent increase on stamp duty on second homes and buy-to-lets comes into force. The changes have caused a rise in house purchases as many investors rush to snap-up properties before the surcharge comes into force.

Yet over a quarter of the landlords surveyed (27 per cent) said they have little or no awareness of the changes, announced in last year’s Autumn statement.

Measures hitting property investors include tougher mortgage lending rules coming in on 21 March, followed by the stamp duty increase on 1 April. Mortgage interest tax relief will also be phased out from 2017.

Dan Gandesha, chief executive of Property Planner, said: “Landlords are deeply divided over how to respond to the government’s clampdown on buy-to-let.”

“A significant minority are desperately buying up available stock to beat the April stamp duty deadline, causing a surge in prices. Do these people really understand how the government’s tax changes will impact their profits?”

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