“As expected, the residential market is now planning for the surge in buy-to-let purchases to begin tailing off. The rush is coming to an end as the April deadline nears, and this is likely to have a short term impact on sales and possibly prices over the next few months. This isn’t a slump by any means – new instructions and buyer enquiries continued to climb in February – but we may soon see a short lull in sales and price growth.
“The final scramble for properties before the stamp duty deadline is undoubtedly putting pressure on conveyancers to deliver in time for their clients. Some firms are feeling the strain more than others, but all are adapting the way they do business, such as greater use of technology, to keep their clients happy.
“But let’s not forget that the demand isn’t all from landlords. Help to Buy is making it easier for first time buyers to get onto the property ladder, and in London especially many are seeing the benefits of buying a property through Help to Buy rather than rent.
“Over the longer term, the impact of the buy-to-let surge and subsequent lull will be minimal. The structure of the property market and the pressure on the supply of new homes, particularly in the capital, is likely to see the long-term trajectory of sales and prices continue upwards.”