Mortgages  

Buy-to-let transactions slump by more than 11pc

Buy-to-let transactions slump by more than 11pc

The number of seasonally adjusted buy-to-let transactions has slumped to its lowest level for more than a year, according to HMRC figures.

During November there were more than 8,900 transactions compared to 10,130 in the month before and 9,690 in September.

The slump coincided with the announcement of a new rate of Stamp Duty in the Autumn Statement, meaning buy-to-let investors and owners of second homes will pay 3 per cent more from April.

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The seasonally adjusted number of non-residential property transactions decreased by 11.5 per cent between October and November.

November’s figure is 6.4 per cent lower compared with the same month last year.

The 31-page UK Property Transaction Statistics document said: “The trend in non-residential property transactions has been that of a generally flat seasonal cycle between September 2010 and September 2013, but since then there has been a rising trend.”

Meanwhile the seasonally adjusted number of residential property transactions decreased by 5.7 per cent to 101,960 between October and November.

Jeremy Duncombe, director of the Legal & General Mortgage Club, said the shape of the mortgage market was changing, with fewer home movers and first-time buyers and more people using cash to buy a house.

More on... Help to Buy

The Help to Buy: Isa was launched earlier this month and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has introduced a new Help to Buy scheme for London.

But these schemes have been criticised for stimulating demand while only helping those who do not necessarily need it.

Adviser view

Toby Keate, a financial adviser with London-based Taylor James Financial Services, said: “I don’t think the changes will lead to the buy-to-let sector shrinking if property prices continue to grow because stamp duty is a one-off charge and it will just mean your profits are set back a year.

“The tax on income could be a problem but most clients are doing it for long-term capital growth, not for income.”