Chancellor George Osborne surprised many in the property industry by confirming that larger buy-to-let investors must pay the new 3% stamp duty surcharge.
It was thought that larger investors with more than 15 properties might be exempt but yesterday Osborne announced that all investors will be affected.
David Cox at the Association of Residential Letting Agents, said the stamp duty surcharge is "catastrophic" but news that larger investors will also have to pay the tax is even worse.
“Professional landlords – those who typically own more than 15 properties – play a vital role in providing rental stock to the market, and providing the army of renters we have in this country with housing.
"The supply of buy-to-let properties will dwindle when the new tax comes into effect and yesterday's news means that supply will fall even faster and harder.
“We’re already in a position where demand outstrips supply and as supply falls, rent costs rise, meaning the goal of home-ownership falls even further out of reach for most of the country’s renters.”
Steve Bolton at Platinum Property Partners said: “Larger investors are arguably better positioned to absorb higher stamp duty costs but it will still be a bitter pill for them to swallow.”
However, Russell Quirk at eMoov said the move to apply new stamp duty changes to larger institutional investors is a fair one. "Although I believe this was probably an oversight from last year and nothing to shout from the rooftops about.”
Naomi Heaton, chief executive of London Central Portfolio, agreed that extending the surcharge to corporate investors has level the playing field. “In any event, many corporates will be unaffected if they are investing in entire buildings.
“However, there is a concern that the Chancellor is doing nothing to help develop our essential private rented sector which needs a minimum of 128,000 new units by 2021."
Rachael Griffin, financial planning expert at Old Mutual Wealth, said there was some good news for those who buy a new house before they can sell their existing home.
“Those people may have to pay additional stamp duty as they will temporarily own more than one home but they will now have three years to recover overpaid tax."