The lending of buy-to-let mortgages was down a massive 85.4% in April compared to March following the introduction of the new stamp duty, figures released from theCouncil of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show.
The CML said 4,200 buy-to-let loans to purchase properties were taken out in April, compared to 28,700 in March.
Year-on-year, the figure is down 51.2%. 8,600 buy-to-let mortgages went through in April 2015.
March saw a particularly high number of buy-to-let mortgage loans because the new stamp duty — a tax placed on buyers when they purchase a property in the UK — came into effect on April 1.
A 3% surcharge now applies to all purchases of second homes — and caused a rush of buy-to-let mortgage lending in March trying to beat it.
The stamp duty increase has not been without controversy. Originally designed to calm the out-of-control housing market, recent research suggests it may be having a negative impact on renters too, as landlords are simply raising their rents accordingly.
Paul Smee, director general of the CML, was optimistic about the downturn, saying things would get back to normal as the property market adjusted to the new rates:
There is a sense of calm after the storm this month, as lending eased back, following the significant rises in activity in March as borrowers looked to beat the second property stamp duty deadline. We expect the market to take several months to return to its previous levels after the lending surge.
Overall, home-owners borrowed £8.1 billion ($11.5 billion) for property purchases in April, 40% less than March but only 4% down on a year before — which indicates how fast house prices are rising.
But that rise may soon come to end, with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors saying that thanks to Brexit uncertainty the UK’s house prices are going to fall for the first time since 2012 — with London’s falling the most. Many analysts have suggested that Britain leaving the EU could seriously lower property prices.