Buy to let mortgage sales - one of the key indicators of buy to let property sales - fell drastically in March as investors realised it was too late to beat the stamp duty surcharge deadline of April 1.
Data released from market intelligence consultancy Equifax Touchstone reveals that buy to let mortgage sales fell by 26.2 per cent - that’s equivalent to over £1 billion - during March.
Residential mortgage sales to owner occupiers in March were up 1.4 per cent on February, reflecting the traditional spring start to the sales season - and this was the highest month for these mortgage products since the start of the downturn in 2008.
Scotland was the only region to increase its mortgage sales in March - covering buy to let and owner occupiers - while Northern Ireland saw the steepest fall, down by almost 20 per cent combined. London’s combined mortgage sales were also down, by over 9.5 per cent.
“Recent buy to let mortgage flows indicate that borrowers took the advice of their lenders, and initiated transactions in good time. The big question from here is, to what extent will the new stamp duty rates discourage investors from entering into new deals?” asks an Equifax Touchstone spokesman.