Buy-to-let landlords are rushing to purchase U.K. homes ahead of an increase in the stamp-duty sales tax in April which is set to rise by 3% for landlords and purchasers of second homes. The Bank of England has raised concerns that the mortgages may pose risks to financial stability because it is unclear how landlords will behave if prices fall or costs of repayment increases.
The number of homes acquired by rental homeowners rose 71 percent in January from the same month a year earlier, according to data compiled by Countrywide Plc. the U.K.’s largest realtor. Landlords purchased 21 percent of all the homes sold in the period, compared with 17 percent a year earlier, Countrywide said.