Brokers hit back at buy-to-let slump ‘scaremongering’

Most commentators have been fixated on the supposed surge in buy-to-let deals being done before the government introduced an extra 3 per cent stamp duty charge on buying a second home from 1 April.

However, Equifax Touchstone’s analysis, which covers 92 per cent of the intermediated lending market, revealed a buy-to-let sales slump of 26.2 per cent (-£1.04bn) from February to March.

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While it recorded residential sales up 1.4 per cent on February to £12.95bn, when combined with buy-to-let, advised sales declined by 5.1 per cent (-£855.7m) on the previous month.

The firm’s relationship manager Iain Hill said the data indicates borrowers took the advice of their lenders and initiated transactions in good time to avoid an eleventh-hour panic.