Stamp Duty surcharge: investors look undeterred

The higher Stamp Duty rate for buyers of rental properties and second homes appears to have little effect on investors.

Property investment house Ward & Co said that it is so far not acting as a deterrent. Its figures in the first week of April show no reduction in the rate of new inquiries from March.

Comparing these figures against the same period last year, Ward & Co reports that new customer inquiries have actually risen by around 8%.

This number includes a mix of private and corporate investors and represents a broad cross-section of large and small portfolio-holders.

It lies comfortably within the company’s normal range for this time of year and suggests that despite the Stamp Duty hike and the prospect of reduced mortgage interest relief next year, property investment is still widely regarded as an attractive option.

Managing director Andrew Ward said: “Despite numerous reports that the Chancellor’s decisions have really damaged confidence in the private rental sector, we aren’t actually seeing that on the ground.

“People are certainly aware of the changes; they’re coming to us with more detailed questions about profit margins and monthly yields, and that’s perhaps fuelling a desire to invest more at the higher quality end of the market spectrum, but that’s all very laudable.

“People should be approaching potential investments armed with a whole host of questions and they should be paying close attention to the way the numbers add up.”

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