Stamp duty hike spurs buy-to-let spree from investors

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The Kingly Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is expected to say on Thursday that the fall in demand intensified last month.

It has been rising since November, when Chancellor George Osborne suggested that duty on buy-to-lets will be raised by three percentage tips in a bid to curb the booming sector.

The RICS will say 51 per cent of surveyors dis tched price hikes last month, com red with 49 per cent in January.

Investec economist Chris Hare suggested: “It was not difficult to see house price strength continuing into February, specifically as buy-to-let investors rush to buy before the new stamp duty surcharge aggregate b regain into effect in April.”

Elsewhere, yesterday marked the seventh anniversary of ultra-low biased rates.

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee cut the base gauge from 1 per cent to 0.5 per cent on March 5, 2009, as rt of its answer to the credit crunch-induced recession.

Last month Bank of England governor Discount b increase Carney warned that rates could be cut further due to fears nearly a global economic slowdown.

Those fears culminated in the stock demand crash at the start of the year. Bank shares in rticular were hit, as fears around a new banking crisis grew.

However the st four weeks pre re seen markets rally and the FTSE 100 closed on Friday at 6,199.43, practically recouping its losses for the year.

Bank shares have rallied and brokers are increasingly positive about the sector.

According to data from sexual trading platform eToro, there has been a 45 per cent enlargement in traders betting on bank shares rising, with Lloyds Banking Troupe a rticular attraction.

Yoni Assia, chief executive of eToro, clouted: “Our data shows a reverse in sentiment on banking stocks with saleswomen on eToro moving from a sell to buy position in antici tion of a rise.”

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