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Stamp duty hike causes potential slow down in buy-to-let market

May sees property expert David Leake, of Housesetc reports on the drop-off of enquiries as predicted earlier in the year.

Interest in new buy-to-let purchases dropped as expected by over a quarter in March this year as the dreaded Stamp Duty deadline approached. Enquiries were down significantly compared with March 2015, the fall reversing the upward trend between December and February when there was a substantial year on year increase. This reduction in interest indicates a potential slowdown in the buy-to-let market, but what’s not yet clear is if this will only turn out to be a short-term pause due entirely to the stamp duty amendment. It could be that investors are waiting until the tax changes have had time to bed in before they review their business and continue to make purchases, only time will tell.

This could remove some of the competition for smaller properties and spell some welcome good news for many first-time buyers.
Q. Who has to pay it?
A. Anyone who is buying additional residential properties, for example a holiday home, within England, Wales, Northern Ireland
Q. How is the tax charged?
A. Regular Stamp Duty is, these days, charged on a tiered basis (so you only pay the higher rate on the slice above any threshold – the same as income tax). But the 3% surcharge still effectively works as a slab tax. So, the 3% loading applies to the entire purchase price of the property.

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