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‘Annus horribilis’ for landlords as buy-to-let activity falls 18.5% in year

Written by: Christina Hoghton
Remortgaging outperformed all other areas to help boost mortgage activity last month, but landlord tax changes have hit the buy-to-let market over the past year.

The number of valuations carried out for the buy-to-let sector in November fell 6.1% month-on-month and a massive 18.5% over the last year, according to figures from Connells Survey & Valuation.

This follows the Chancellor’s announcement that he would ban letting agent fees to tenants, coming on the back of a swathe of other tax changes for buy-to-let landlords.

John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, said: “2016 has been something of an annus horribilis for landlords. They have had to contend with the reverberations of the 3% Stamp Duty surcharge and the removal of 10% ‘wear and tear’ allowance.

“Fortunately, June through to October were all relatively good months for BTL remortgages with activity rising. The sector was beginning to find its footing again. However Philip Hammond’s latest proposals regarding lettings fees appear to have unsettled the market again.”

Remortgaging boost

Remortgaging activity boosted the mortgage market last month, said Connells, outperforming all other areas, with valuations rising 4.9% compared to October and 24.6% on an annual basis.

Bagshaw noted: “There’s no doubt that remortgaging is driving the mortgage market at the moment. While the number of buy-to-let valuations is down almost 19% compared to November last year, remortgaging activity is up 25%. Homeowners want to lock into deals before rates rise.”

Overall valuation activity was virtually static in November as the number of valuations fell 0.1% on October.

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