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Letting market activity slows after stamp duty changes

There has been a significant fall in the number of ‘To Let’ and ‘Let’ properties, according to the latest figures from the Agency Express Property Activity Index. 

Following a robust letting market in April, new figures show that new listings dropped by 11.9% while properties ‘Let’ fell by 11.1%, marking the steepest month-on-month decline for May since index records began in 2012.

Various industry reports have confirmed a slowdown in the buy-to-let property market, largely as a consequence of the stamp duty changes and heightened uncertainty ahead of next week’s EU referendum.


"There is a sense of calm after the storm this month, as lending eased back, following the significant rises in activity in March as borrowers looked to beat the second property stamp duty deadline," said Paul Smee, director general of the Council of Mortgage Lenders. "We expect the market to take several months to return to its previous levels after the lending surge."

Looking at performance across the rest of the UK, all of 12 regions recorded by the Property Activity Index reported declines in new listings ‘To Let’ and ten regions recorded a drop in properties ‘Let’.

This month’s top performer was the South East recording an increase of 10.1% in properties ‘Let’ and a record best for May. Buoyant figures were also returned by Scotland, properties ‘Let’ increased for a fifth consecutive month sitting at 4.1%.


This month’s better performing regions included:

Properties ‘To Let’

•             Scotland -4.10%

•             West Midlands -4.20%

•             Wales -5.20%

•             Central England -6.70%

•             North West -8.60%

Properties ‘Let By’

•             South East 10.10%

•             Scotland 4.10%

•             East Anglia -3.70%

•             East Midlands -10.50%

•             North East -10.60%

The largest decline reported in this month’s Property Activity Index was recorded by the East Midlands with ‘To Let’ figures dropping by 29.9%.

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