This headline is hardly a surprise. 

Landlords have the stamp duty surcharge to contend with plus of course mortgage interest relief starts it's phased withdrawal as of this April. 

I suspect in turning the screw as it were the Government was keen to take some heat out of the housing market which was showing signs of running away. And as one would suspect they have been successful. 

On a positive note I see that the percentage of first time buyers is up for a long time. It seems that the lack of competition from would-be landlords is one of the reasons behind this so this really is welcome news. 

I cannot help but think that, as good as this news is, the market would function far more efficiently if there was not quite so much Government interference in the first place.