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Landlord purchases fall sharply as tax assault bites

There has been a sharp decline in the number of buy-to-let property purchases as a raft of government tax hikes continues to have an adverse impact on the sector.

The past three years have seen the market face a host of new regulations and tax changes, which some landlords will see reflected in their tax bills for the first time this month, and that largely explains why fewer people are investing in the buy-to-let sector, as reflected by new buy-to-let mortgage data.

Fresh analysis by Money Mail shows that the number of new landlords getting mortgages has dropped by 60% in the past decade.

Based on figures from UK Finance, around 183,000 mortgages were approved to landlords looking to invest in new properties in 2007 when buy-to-let was at its peak.

The latest data from the trade body suggests that the number of buy-to-let mortgages secured in 2018 dropped to below 70,000.

Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance, blames the impact of various tax, regulatory and legislative changes for the slowdown in the buy-to-let sector.

“In the buy-to-let market new home purchases remain subdued, while remortgaging continues to grow as landlords lock into attractive rates,” said Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance.

Official figures reveal that landlords are offloading around 3,800 buy-to-let properties a month leading to the first drop in the number of homes available to rent in 18 years.

The latest Ministry of Housing report shows the number of privately rented homes in England fell by 46,000 to 4.79 million last year - the largest reduction since 1988.

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