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Landlords Predict Rent Rises Following Stamp Duty Hike

Government proposals to increase Stamp Duty for buy-to-let landlords will see tenants suffer as rents increase Landlords reckon that Government interference in the buy-to-let market will result in increased rents, according to a new survey by Belvoir.

Although 68% of landlords surveyed had not raised their rent in the last 12 months, 86% believe that increased purchasing costs for investment properties will inevitably lead to increased rents.
The survey also confirmed that Government policies aimed at cooling the buy-to-let market are making landlords cautious about their future investment plans for 2016, increasing pressure on the Private Rental Sector (PRS). A massive 93% of landlords with one to 10 properties said that changes to Stamp Duty and taxation were likely to influence their investment plans for the next 12 months. Almost half (44%) admitted they would be adopting a cautious approach to further investment.

Belvoirs managing director, Dorian Gonsalves, said: “An overwhelming majority of landlords believe that increased purchasing costs for investment properties, due to a rise in Stamp Duty and lack of BTL mortgage tax relief, will ultimately lead to increased rents.”

Most landlords named George Osbornes anti-landlord policies as the single largest challenge that landlords will face in 2016.

Meanwhile new buyer registrations for prime London homes soared in January as buy-to-let landlords scramble to complete their purchases before the stamp duty hike comes into effect in April.
Figures from estate agency Marsh and Parsons today show that the number of new buyers registering in January 2016 was 24 per cent higher than in the same month last year.

Outer prime London areas are experiencing the highest demand, the company said, with Barnes and Bishops Park seeing among the strongest rises in the number of buyers registering locally to buy property.

At the same time, the number of available homes fell significantly, down 12 per cent in the last three months of 2015 compared with the same time last year, with 13 buyers for every prime London property at the end of last year.

Marsh & Parsons chief executive Peter Rollings, said: The New Year always tends to bring a resurgence in purchase activity, as buyers shake off the last of the Christmas holiday haze and re-focus their attention on climbing up, or onto, the ladder.

But the figures were currently seeing are strong even by those standards. Private buyers, landlords and other investors are rushing to secure their preferred property before 1 April stamp duty hike.
Knight Frank has also reported a pick-up in sales volumes over the last months after a subdued autumn thanks to strengthening demand and due to buyers and sellers feeling a greater sense of urgency ahead of the deadline. From April, the government will introduce a three per cent stamp duty surcharge on purchases by homeowners with more than one property.
According to Knight Frank, prime property prices recorded a slight rise in annual growth of 1.2 per cent in January after dipping to a six-year low of 0.9 per cent in November. Halifax house price data also showed a slight rise in January.

But despite this recent recovery, the agent said sales volumes were still down 17 per cent in the second half of 2015 versus 2014 as the market slowed.

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