"We've had people in our recent auction rooms paying at least 10-15% more than I would have expected, just to save 3% on the additional SDLT charges for BTL and second homes from April 1st."
The above quote was made by a well known auctioneer to a colleague at a recent auction, and it will probably not come as a surprise to some experienced investors and trade professionals who have seen in the past just how the 'madness of crowds' can affect people's judgement.
The April 1st deadline for increases in SDLT has now passed and in the months ahead those who have overpaid may or may not realise that they were 'April Fools'. If the purchases were for long term rental then all should be well as rents rise and property values adjust upwards as the years go by. However I am sure everyone reading this column will be able to recall a property deal which was lost but which in hindsight they wished they had agreed to pay another 10% more for at that time.
With all the tax changes it seems we really are into a new era and it's quite likely that higher value areas will see less demand from BTL and second home purchasers for a while, but there is still - as many recent reports underline - strong buying momentum in many regions from owner occupier buyers.
This edition contains our usual eclectic mix of articles with the aim of informing and educating readers about opportunity and risk in the current property market. The tone of many articles this month is perhaps a little heavier than usual and some readers who want constant inspiration might feel short changed if some instant solutions to make millions are not so very evident.
I make no apology for this as we have to accept that the investment market is now more demanding, particularly if as a property investor-landlord or developer you want to make great returns in the months and years ahead.
This month's investor interview on page 16 is unusual insofar as very few first time property investor buyers don't start off with a budget of £200 million plus. There are however some real nuggets of wisdom to absorb by reading Mike Clare's tale of turning his Dreams into a hugely profitable reality.
Our latest market report on page 31 looks at London and given that Crossrail 2 has just been given the 'go ahead' by George Osborne, it's a timely article for those who look to invest for the long term. Also to be noted was the announcement that the Leeds to Manchester HS3 route is to be funded, which should underline that the Northern Powerhouse is not just political hyperbole.
And finally, the Property Investor Show takes place in just a few days time at London's ExCel centre in Docklands on Friday / Saturday 15-16th April and I look forward to meeting some of you at stand 5.