One in six houses sold as second homes or rentals
One in every six houses bought last year in South Gloucestershire were purchased as second homes or properties to rent out, figures show.
HM Revenue and Customs data shows second home buyers – including property investors and landlords buying houses to rent out – were undeterred by new taxes on extra properties.
A second home is defined by HMRC as a property that is bought by a buyer who already has a primary residence.
Last year 17 per cent of the properties sold in South Gloucestershire were classified as second homes.
Around 950 were bought in the financial year 2017-18, with a combined value of £259 million.
That’s despite an extra 3 per cent stamp duty charge on additional properties, introduced in April 2016 as part of a government effort to deter buy-to-let landlords, property investors and second home owners.
In England, almost one in four properties bought last year were classified as second homes.
Around 232,000 second homes were bought, with an estimated value of more than £70 billion.
The number bought last year in South Gloucestershire has increased by 14 per cent since 2016-17, when around 830 second homes were purchased.
The National Housing Federation, which represents housing associations, said it was concerned about the impact that buying extra properties has on local communities.
Policy leader Will Jeffwitz said: “In any community, if more homes are bought up as second homes then there are fewer available for residents – and the houses left are more unaffordable.
“Our solution is that there should be a renewed focus on building more affordable housing, which reduces the impact of a high ownership of second homes.”
Lawrence Bowles, research analyst at estate agent Savills, said that first-time buyers are still at a “fundamental disadvantage”, despite the new tax.
He said: “First time buyers will typically be buying with a mortgage, and buy-to-let landlords will often have the money in their account, ready to go.
“Sellers prefer that over mortgages because of the certainty – there’s always a risk associated with a mortgage.”
In total, around £33 million was collected from stamp duty in South Gloucestershire last year.
HMRC figures say that duty on additional dwellings made up 35 per cent of that amount.
The Treasury said that the Government’s priority is to “support first time buyers”.
A Treasury spokesperson said: “We want to support the dream of home ownership for the next generation.”