The director of a leading Leeds estate agents has said the “shelves are pretty bare” in the local property market after a flurry of exchanges on buy-to-let homes last month.
On April 1, a three percentage point stamp duty hike was imposed on people buying buy-to-let properties.
Estate agents have reported dealing with a bottleneck of investors rushing to push sales through before the tax increase on this date. Website Rightmove has now reported that the average price tag on a home leapt to a new record high of more than £307,000 in April as the last-minute rush of buy-to-let investors energised the market.
Across England and Wales, sellers coming to market are demanding £307,033 typically for a property – which is £3,843 more than in March.
And Rightmove said the average price of a typical buy-to-let property – that with one or two bedrooms – dipped in April by £2,686 month-on-month to reach £182,926, as investors’ interest in the market became more subdued.
But the knock-on effect of the earlier rush of investors has pushed the asking prices for properties higher up in the property chain higher – as it has unleashed a wave of “trader-uppers” – the website said.
The website quoted estate agents in its report. Mark Manning, director of Manning Stainton in Leeds, Harrogate, Wetherby and Wakefield, said: “We had the highest level of exchanges since 2006 in March, and it’s likely some of those happened sooner due to the tax change deadline.
“While instructions remain broadly on par with the first quarter of last year there is still the feeling that the shelves are pretty bare as we enter our busiest months of the year.”