In the third quarter of 2016, 63% of applications for commercial mortgages for buy-to-let property purchases were from companies. This has risen from 21% from before changes to the tax relief on mortgage interest were announced in July 2015, reported PropertyWire.com in October 2016.
The figures are published in the Limited Company Buy to Let Index. The 63% figure includes new purchases and landlords selling their privately owned properties to limited companies. The steep increase in the number of companies purchasing buy-to-let properties suggests that landlords are forming companies to avoid the decreases in mortgage interest rate tax relief that will be introduced incrementally from 2017 to 2020.
The hardest hit by the changes to tax relief are high-rate tax payers who will not be able to claim tax relief above the standard rate of 20%.
The number of mortgages available for limited companies has risen and now represents 16% of all mortgage products, which is up from 13% in the first six months of 2016.
The Limited Company Buy to let Index also revealed that the average interest rate on commercial buy-to-let mortgages was 3.3% in September, which is a fall from the 3.7% average in June.
The report shows that despite tax changes and stamp duty rises, landlords are still investing in the buy-to-let market. The property website Rightmove said that the number of inquiries about buy-to-let properties it has received increased by 30% between June and September this year.