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Buy-to-let investors rush to buy property before stamp duty deadline

Wednesday 24 February 2016

Prospective buy-to-let investors are looking to cheat the Chancellor - by snapping up homes before his ludicrous stamp duty proposals take effect.

George Osborne's 3 per cent hike in stamp duty, which many predict could cause the rental market sector to crumble,will come into force in the next few months.

The changes will mean landlords having to stump up thousands of pounds extra each year.

However, those buying before the deadline will avoid the unjust surcharge and as a result, had led to a surge in investors wanting to complete deals for additional properties.

Nottinghamshire-based estate agents, Haart, have registered a 35 per cent increase in the number of buyers, which is already having a knock-on effect.

Paul Smith, chief executive of Haart, said: "This high level of activity has resulted in a substantial backlog of homes in the pre-completion stages, and we’re now seeing a shortage of conveyancers and lawyers to progress these sales, leading to delays and a subsequent decline in the number of completions in January."

It is thought demand will plummet once the increased stamp duty  comes around, but buyers are being reminded that the stamp duty will NOT begin on April 6 - the start of the new financial year - but five days earlier.

Stamp duty increase effective from 1st April not 6th April 

Chris Springett, from accountancy and investment management group Smith & Williamson, said: "The changes are due to apply from April Fool’s Day, so anyone seeking to buy a second home, buy-to-let or residential investment property should keep this in mind!" 

Criticism of Osborne's stamp duty plans continues to spiral, with MPs themselves calling for him to back down, claiming it could stifle growth and lead to huge numbers of job losses.

Experts also predict up to 1 million second-home owners will look to offload their properties by 2021, and stem the flow of available rented properties.

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