From a landlord’s perspective, it has been a tough year, with a raft of changes designed to bring the booming housing market under control and create what the former chancellor George Osborne described as a “level playing field” between homeowners and investors, and yet there has been a significant increase in buy-to-let mortgage activity over the last two months, according to Connells.
Despite the huge turmoil in the market caused by the introduction of the stamp duty surcharge in April, the scrapping of the 10% Wear and Tear tax relief for landlords who rent out furnished homes and the fact that mortgage tax relief is set to be phased out from next year, the company’s valuation department reports that valuations for buy-to-let mortgages are up 0.4% on last year.
“Despite a bruising period of government intervention, the buy-to-let sector has been finding its footing over the last couple of months, recovering from the 3% stamp duty surcharge, the restriction of tax relief on mortgage finance costs to basic rate tax only, and the removal of 10% 'wear and tear' allowance,” said John Bagshaw at Connells Survey & Valuation.
“The government’s intervention had a significant effect in the short term but we appear to have recovered the lost ground now,” he added.
Connells also report that remortgaging valuation activity rose 14.7% year-on-year, while significantly more first-time buyers are entering the market to take advantage of the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme which ends in December.