Landlords to keep purchasing rental property after stamp duty deadline

Landlords are intending to continue purchasing rental property after the deadline for the stamp duty holiday has passed at the end of March, according to new findings from Foundation Home Loans.

The research from the intermediary-only specialist lender, based on 846 online interviews, found that of the 16% of landlords who said they were going to purchase over the next 12 months, 48% said they would do so in Q1, 41% in Q2, 28% in Q3, and 29% in Q4.

Foundation revealed that landlords were able to pick more than one quarter if they were unsure when they might complete.

Landlords also indicated confidence in terms of their ability to complete purchases before the stamp duty deadline, with only 14% saying they would abort their transaction if completion did not look achievable. Of those landlords intending to purchase in Q1, 65% said they were very or quite confident they would complete by 31 March.

Foundation commercial director, George Gee, commented: “Landlords think long and hard before adding to their portfolios and as our research reveals, they are unlikely to just confine any purchase activity to the first quarter of this year in order to simply benefit from the stamp duty holiday.
“There are a number of positive results to come out of our exclusive research, not least landlords’ continued intention to keep on purchasing after the deadline has passed, and the news that many landlords will not abort their transactions if there is no extension and they look unlikely to complete by the 31 March.”

Foundation’s research also asked landlords whether they believed the government would extend the deadline for the stamp duty holiday, with 28% answering yes, and 31% disagreeing, although the questions were asked before the recent Parliamentary debate on the stamp duty holiday.

There has been growing industry support for a tapering of the deadline to allow those already within the purchase process to complete beyond the deadline date but still secure the tax saving, with an online petition calling for the stamp duty deadline to be extended passing 146,000 signatures.

“The next month and a half are very important for the sector,” Gee added. “Foundation has put in place significant extra resources to our completions team in order to ensure we can complete as many cases as possible by the end of March.
“Looking beyond Q1, there will clearly be ongoing opportunities for advisers active in the landlord borrower space, and all the signals point to significant activity taking place in both the purchase and remortgage sectors. We should not forget that many landlords’ special rates are coming to an end over the months ahead, especially those that bought prior to the last stamp duty surcharge increase for additional homeowners back in Q1 2016.”

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