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London landlords look north to beat stamp duty

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Growing numbers of landlords who live in London are looking beyond the capital for buy-to-let returns.

Analysis by Hamptons International – based on activity at Countrywide branches – found that 59 per cent of London-based landlords purchased their buy-to-let property outside the capital during the past 12 months.

In contrast, in 2010 just one in four London-based landlords purchased their buy-to-let outside the capital, with 75 per cent investing in London.

However high house prices in London mean that the 3 per cent Stamp Duty surcharge is particularly significant in the capital, and are pushing buy-to-let investors further out.

The proportion of London-based investors purchasing buy-to-lets in their home region has fallen 17 per cent since 2015, the agent said.

The capital is still the most common area, favoured by 41 per cent of London landlords, but 34 per cent now invest in the north and the midlands, which is up 19 per cent on 2015.

Meanwhile, the analysis found the average cost of a new let in Great Britain rose 1.9 per cent annually to £969 per month in March.

This was driven by a 3.7 per cent rise in Greater London to £1,737 per month, the highest level on record.

Scotland was the only region where rents fell, down 0.1 per cent year-on-year.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International, said: “April marks the three-year anniversary of the Stamp Duty surcharge introduction for second-home owners.

“Following the tax hike, landlords have been adapting their strategy to find new ways to make their returns. Lower entry costs and higher yields outside of the capital are enticing investors to look further afield than they have previously.”

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