Buy-to-let is still an attractive investment
Despite the 3% stamp duty rise in April, experts say buy-to-let is still seen as an attractive investment by landlords, continuing to edge out potential private buyers regardless of government efforts.
When George Osborne proposed the stamp duty hike, his intention was to reduce the stranglehold enjoyed by landlords and rich investors across the country. His reasoning was that the additional fees needing to be paid by the buyer would discourage buy-to-let investment, and open the market up to private UK homebuyers with standard mortgages.
While there was an initial rush by landlords to complete purchases before the deadline hit, recent figures have shown that rather than pushing them away, landlords are simply factoring the additional costs into their offers – which still edge out private buyers due to an increase of capital to invest.
“It goes without saying that if your costs are going to be £20,000 or £30,000 more, then you will bid lower,” said Richard Adamson, auctioneer and partner at Allsop.
“But because the cost is quantifiable, buyers can understand and budget for it. It is not putting them off.”
Other influences that allow landlords to maintain a dominant position within the property market include their willingness to purchase houses at auctions – a channel of sales generally avoided by private buyers. Despite high levels of competition, a landlord can expect to save up to 25% versus a traditional house purchase through an estate agent; a saving that more than covers any surcharge levied by the government such as stamp duty.
As the stamp duty rise was directly proportioned with the value of individual properties, many also expected landlords to purchase and seek income from lower-priced properties outside of high value locations such London – but as auctioneers have discovered, this is simply not true, with many in-demand properties reaching almost double their original asking price during bidding wars.
As the number of properties being bought by private buyers has decreased substantially in the last 12 months due to ever-increasing house prices, vendors have found themselves having to reduce asking prices, or placing their homes on the market in auctions and risking losing money due to low reserves. Many vendors have found that the best solution to sell a home quickly is to contact a UK house buying company, who will pay very competitive prices in cash, without needing to go through the lengthy process associated with traditional estate-agent based sales.