There was a sharp decline in the number of buy-to-let landlords acquiring property in 2018, fresh data from Haart shows.
Clearly deterred by tax and regulatory changes over the past couple of years, including the introduction of higher stamp duty purchasing costs, the scrapping of the wear and tear allowance, as well as the phasing out of landlords’ mortgage interest tax relief, the latest figures from Haart reveal that the number of landlords registering to buy with the company fell by 36% in November when compared with the corresponding month last year.
The steepest decline in landlords purchasing property was recorded in London, where the volume of buy-to-let acquisitions is down 47% year-on-year.
The research also reveals that the number of tenants entering the market across England and Wales fell by 15.6% on a monthly basis but remains 22% higher than in November 2017.
According to Haart, the average rent is down 0.9% and by 3.6% on the year to sit at an average of £1,315 per calendar month (pcm) across England and Wales.
Demand in London has increased by 7.6% on the month and by 41.4% on the year, which largely explains why rents edged up 1.2% on the month and by 6.9% on the year, with the average rent in London now stood at £1,937pcm.
The number of buy-to-let sales increased by 1.2% on the year across England and Wales but dropped by 35% in London.
Paul Smith, CEO of Haart, said: “November and December are typically quieter months for the property market, but I expect we will see a surge in activity across the country once the Christmas lull is over.”
He added: “The monthly drop in the numbers registering to buy in London, which coincides with a huge increase in the number registering to rent, is indicative of buyers waiting for the political in-fighting to blow over. However, if the government were to provide clarity on Brexit, this would act as an ignition to unlocking the market’s huge potential.
“Throughout 2018, the market has enjoyed a number of underlying strengths. With demand for property remaining significantly higher than supply, and a range of low fixed mortgages readily available, coupled with the fact that employment figures are at their highest in decades, there is plenty of reasons to be confident about the UK’s housing market going into 2019.”