Would-be landlords made a mad dash to secure mortgages in January as new rules on stamp duty for buy-to-let homes loomed, new figures show.
Data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) shows landlords borrowed £3.7bn in January, up nine per cent from the month before - but a whopping 42 per cent year on year.
New rules due to come in at the beginning of April mean buyers of rental properties and second homes will be forced to pay an additional three per cent in stamp duty.
The total amount borrowed for house purchase was £8.4bn, up 12 per cent on the year before. They took out 46,200 loans - up five per cent on January 2015.
The CML attributed a "seasonal dip" to the fall in the amount first-time buyers borrowed - they took on £3.3bn of loans, up 14 per cent on the year before but down 27 per cent on January. The number of loans taken out - 21,400 - was up six per cent on last year.
Richard Sexton, director of chartered surveyor E.surv, pointed to a rise in cheap mortgage deals.
"Buyers are enjoying a Spring succession of savings improvements," he said.
"For savers, and especially for first-time buyers facing higher deposit costs, the government’s saving measures may contribute to a gradual and sustainable improvement in prospects. But they may not be able to offset spiralling house prices and certainly not in the short-term."