January 8th, 2021
Reaping the benefit of the temporary reduced rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax, Buy-to-let landlords are eager to complete their property purchases before the end of the SDLT holiday on 31 March 2021.
Investors have taken up the largest proportion of property sales in four years. According to research conducted by the estate agent Hamptons, in November 2020 landlords made up 15% of buyers in Great Britain, the highest figure since December 2016. Research shows that the rush to beat the stamp duty holiday has been concentrated in the Midlands and Northern England. As we see the strength of investor purchases up north, during November 2020 just under a quarter (22%) of homes sold in the West Midlands were bought by an investor, followed by 18% in both the North East and North West. In London, the figure stands at 15% in December 2020, up 2% from September 2020.
Blackpool was the most popular local authority area for investors, followed by St Helens in Merseyside (where investors made 50% of property purchases), Liverpool (39%), Calderdale in West Yorkshire (36%), and Nottingham (35%).
London did not feature in the top 10, although Lewisham, in the south-east of the city, took top spot in the capital, where 20% of property sales were agreed with investors. (The Guardian)
Under the SDLT holiday scheme, stamp duty is exempt on all properties up to £500,000. However, investors are required to pay a 3% stamp duty surcharge on second homes worth more than £40,000. Nonetheless, landlords have still been able to reduce their overall bill. Hamptons researches found that as over half of investor purchases were made in cash in November 2020, it appears larger investors were expanding portfolios rather than new investors starting out.