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Sharp decline in buy-to-let purchases since 2015

Buy-to-let investors spent £12.1bn on new buy-to-let purchases during the first half of 2018, down 30% on three years ago, fresh figures show.

The latest report from Hamptons International reveals that there was a £5.2bn drop in the total value of new buy-to-let acquisitions compared with the corresponding period during 2015.

According to the data, the total value of residential properties bought by landlords in H1 2018 hit the lowest level since H1 2013, when landlords spent £11.2bn.

The total spent in H1 2018 is just over £9bn less than the £21.6bn spent by landlords in the first half of 2016 when second homeowners rushed to beat the 3% stamp duty surcharge which was introduced in April 2016.

BTL landlords bought 64,260 homes in the first half of this year, 31% less than in H1 2015 with the South East seeing the biggest fall of 45% fewer acquisitions.

The average price of a home bought by a landlord in H1 2018 was £174,580, 4% less than last year and 7% less than in 2016, owed in part to the fact that more landlords are purchasing cheaper buy-to-let homes further north of the country.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research, Hamptons International, said: “The total value of homes purchased by landlords has fallen by over £5bn in just three years. This is due to landlords buying fewer buy-to-lets and investors spending less on the homes they do buy.

“With two out of five London based landlords looking outside the capital to buy their investments in search of higher yields and lower stamp duty bills, the average price of a home bought as a buy-to-let has fallen by 7% since 2016.”

Poll: Do you think activity in the buy-to-let market will drop further in the coming years as a result of government interventions and a wider housing slowdown?

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