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Tax changes restrict buy-to-let purchases

The number of new buy-to-let mortgages has fallen as a result of tax changes in recent years, according to research.

A report by UK Finance showed that in May 2018, 5,500 new buy-to-let home purchase mortgages were completed - down 9.8% since the same time in 2017.

In terms of the value of properties sold, this was a year-on-year decrease of 22.2%.

Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance, said purchases "continue to be constrained by recent regulatory and tax changes, the full impact of which have yet to be fully felt".

These changes include the 3% stamp duty land tax surcharge that was introduced for additional properties in April 2016.

Restrictions on mortgage interest tax relief have also been in place since April 2017, resulting in a higher tax charge for many landlords.

Separate research by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) also showed that in June 2018, estate agents saw a 22% drop in the number of rental properties coming on to the market.

RICS expects this to drive up rents by 15% over the next 5 years.

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