But people who temporarily end up with two properties due to difficult circumstances, such as retirees downsizing into a smaller property but struggling to sell their original home, will be given some extra breathing space from the new stamp duty rate.
The Government decided that purchasers will have 36 months rather than the originally proposed 18 months to claim a stamp duty refund, in the event that there is a period of overlap or a gap in ownership of a main residence.
In Scotland, SDLT has been replaced by the land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT).
Demand for homes surged to a 12-year high in February as buy-to-let investors rushed to beat a stamp duty hike , say estate agents.
More than eight in 10 (85%) estate agents reported more investors flooding the market ahead of a three percentage point stamp duty increase on the purchase of second homes, which starts on April 1.
The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), which released the report, said the added pressure from the buy-to-let market meant demand for housing was at the highest level for 12 years in February.
There were signs that the extra competition from buy-to-let investors has squeezed some first-time buyers out of the market.
Read more: Crackdown on landlord mortgages 'helps renters escape their clutches' House sellers may see buy-to-let investors as a more attractive proposition than people trying to get on the property ladder as they often have more ready cash and are less reliant on raising finance from a mortgage.
An average of 463 house hunters were registered per member branch across the UK - marking the highest figure since August 2004 when 582 were registered per branch typically.In January when estate agents had reported 453 house hunters were registered per branch on average.The number of properties available per branch increased from 33 in January to 35 in February, as the number of sales agreed per branch in February increased too.There were an average nine sales completed in February, back to the level seen in October 2015 and a rise from eight sales agreed per branch in January.But only one in four (24%) sales made in February were made to first time buyers - a decrease of five percentage points from January.Read more: Average house now costs £300,000 Mark Hayward, managing director of the NAEA, said: "The mounting pressure and increased demand for housing has meant that first-time buyers have had to compete with landlords for property and as a result they have lost out.