The Government’s ‘war on landlords’ has seen buy-to-let sales collapse 64% in 12 months – and 8.2% on a one-monthly basis in November.
While this may have been exactly what former Chancellor George Osborne intended, the statistic from haart’s own figures looks unexpectedly stark.
The firm also says that the number of landlords registering to buy properties is down 59.2%.
Overall, house sales measured by haart at exchange were 22.4% lower last month than in November a year ago.
Across England and Wales, haart calculates there were 47,279 house sales in November, a monthly drop of 3.6%.
Paul Smith, CEO of haart, said: “The scale of decline in buy-to-let in just 12 months is deeply worrying.
“Landlords have clearly pulled out of the market and are unlikely to return any time soon.
“However, this is entirely the result of government policy, with Theresa May now picking up George Osborne’s baton and proceeding to bash landlords with renewed vigour. The end of tax relief on mortgages, the 3% Stamp Duty surcharge, strict new lending criteria, and now a ban on tenant letting fees that will see the costs passed on to owners.
“The Government’s attack on investors adds up to a ‘war on landlords’ and a buy-to-let market crippled by tax hikes and unnecessary regulation.
“The effect has been to more than halve the number of buy-to-let sales in England and Wales, and the inevitable consequence will be fewer properties available to renters next year and higher rents.”
He went on: “The Government is making a conscious decision to put landlords on the block for a property market that isn’t working for first-time buyers or Generation Rent.
“However, rather than chasing investors out of the market altogether, a better solution would be to channel their cash into house building and increasing the supply of rental properties.
“Tenants are stuck in an intensely competitive market where rents are often more expensive than mortgages, because there are simply not enough properties available for lettings, and many landlords now have no choice but to pass the extra costs on to tenants.
“It is time for the Government to end this damaging ‘war on landlords’ and instead create a market that genuinely works for everyone.
“The Government is casting landlords as the pantomime villains of the property market, but we need a more grown-up and serious approach to policy-making, as well as a recognition of the contribution that landlords make.”