Although buy to let mortgages represent just 13% of new mortgages, the number of buy to let landlords rose to a record 2.5 million in the tax year 2017/2018. As well as the stamp duty increases to 3%, landlords have had their tax relief on commercial mortgage interest payments reduced. After the August Bank of England rate rise, commercial mortgages will cost more.
The Treasury said they are looking at raising the stamp duty again. This can be seen as a way to ease the housing crisis by putting landlords off buying new property so that more properties are available for homebuyers.
Homes worth up to £125,000 are exempt from stamp duty by individual buyers but buy to let landlords have to pay the 3% charge. Houses costing between £125,0001 and over £925,000 have an increasing scale of stamp duty charges.
Some politicians are against a rise in stamp duty as a way of easing the housing crisis. They want builders to be encouraged to construct more new houses as the main way to make more properties available to meet the high demand. There are also many empty rundown houses that need renovation to make them habitable.