Calls for SDLT reforms following ‘worrying’ RICS forecasts

A UK mortgage broker has called for reforms to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) after research and forecasts from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) pointed towards a bleak future for buy-to-let landlords and private renters.

According to RICS research, 86 per cent of buy-to-let investors have no plans to increase their property portfolio in 2016 – and sales of buy-to-let mortgages have slumped in the wake of former Chancellor George Osborne’s introduction of a three per cent surcharge on the purchase of additional investment properties.

The RICS has forecast that by 2025, the UK could face a rental property shortage of 1.8 million homes.

Laura Lamb, director of independent broker The Mortgage Company, said: “Despite the Government coming down hard on investors, I’m of the belief that the real long-term effects are going to be felt by those in the private rented market,” she said.

“A shortage of good quality rental properties will push the rents up even more and make saving to buy a property even harder.

“What we need to be doing is looking at the whole picture rather than picking on landlords and hoping that by charging them more in taxation it’s going to solve the problem. It won’t, it will just create a bigger one”.

Meanwhile, Savills estate agents have predicted that rental prices will rise by an average of 18 per cent – and potentially by as much as 25 per cent in London – within the next five years. These forecasts have been backed by rival estate agents, JLL.

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