The UK’s largest conveyancing provider, My Home Move, has reported a 46% rise in buy-to-let and second home activity. The increase has been since November when Chancellor George Osborne announced a 3% Stamp Duty surcharge on all second home purchases, including buy-to-lets. The surcharge is to be implemented in three weeks’ time on April 1. My Home Move’s research found that 99% of conveyancers report a rise in the number of clients wanting to complete purchases before the deadline. My Home Move CEO Doug Crawford said that his earlier forecast, that the property market would be ‘turbo-charged’ for the first part of the year, had been realised. My Home Move has also reported a surge in inquiries from people looking to purchase additional properties as a registered company – hoping to win tax advantages. Details of the Stamp Duty surcharge are due to be revealed in next week’s Budget.
Meanwhile, the RICS said this morning that it expects house price inflation to slow once the Stamp Duty changes have been introduced. The slowdown is predicted to follow what the RICS describes as a “short-term rush on buy-to-let properties”. The LSL/Acadata survey, also out this morning, said house price growth in February doubled on a monthly basis because of a “boom” in buy-to-let sales. It said this helped fuel a surge in home sales, up 12% month on month, and up 9.3% compared with February last year.