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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Investors race to beat buy-to-let surcharge

A rush of investors to complete their transactions ahead of the new stamp duty surcharge is driving a surge in buy-to-let activity, new figures confirm.

The number of buy-to-let valuations in February rose 34% compared to the same month last year.

Buy-to-let activity saw a month-on-month increase of 25% as the 1 April deadline for completing purchases looms closer.

John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, which produced the research, said: “Buy-to-let investors and those remortgaging with the aim of buying a second home are racing against the clock.

“Activity from both these groups is picking up pace on a monthly basis as people hurry to complete their transactions before being hit by the 3% surcharge on their buy-to-let property or second home.”

Bagshaw said this activity would reach a crescendo in March before calming in the second quarter.

“Buy-to-let investors will be calculating the impact the stamp duty hike is having on their rental yields, while those thinking of remortgaging to fund a second home will weigh up whether it’s still financially viable for them to do so.”

He said behind these "somewhat frantic figures" there is an underlying story of steady, long-term growth.

“Despite taking some political heat recently, the buy-to-let market continues to attract investment off the back of its potential returns, while the remortgaging sector remains popular with those looking to get a better mortgage or release capital on their home for investment purposes.”

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