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Buy-to-let and second home stamp duty rise

George Osborne announced in the autumn statement on Wednesday that buy-to-let investors and second home buyers will pay an extra three percentage points of stamp duty from next April 2016.

As a result, the tax bill on a buy-to-let property costing £350,000 will jump from £7,500 to £12,500. More examples are in the table below.

Value of second property/buy to let Current SDLT SDLT from 1 April 2016 Increase in tax
£150,000 £500 £5,000 £4,500
£250,000 £2,500 £10,000 £7,500
£350,000 £7,500 £18,000 £10,500
£450,000 £12,500 £26,000 £13,500
£1,000,000 £43,750 £73,750 £30,000

Many landlords are already concerned that the margins on buy-to-let investment are being squeezed and for some this might be unbearable.

The move is designed to raise £3.8bn in tax and help potential first-time buyers afford a home by squeezing demand from buy-to-let investors. However, critics claim it could have the opposite effect by increasing rents and removing a key source of funding for new housing developments.

Rents could rise due to a fall in the supply of rented accommodation and landlords looking to offset their stamp duty bill by raising their charges, while the supply of homes to buy could fall as investors who fund new developments are put off by the tax hike.

These factors could make it more difficult for potential homebuyers to save the funds to buy a home and mean that house prices continue to rise due to a lack of supply.

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