The property market has seen very positive activity so far this year. Sellers have not been discouraged by the ongoing lockdown. Buyers having lost assurance in their own financial security, with more job losses imminent, (especially once furlough comes to an end) and having to come to terms with the fact that they may well face continued unforeseen obstacles, denying them the chance to get onto the property ladder, especially when the stamp duty was initially set to be coming to an end in March. With people having to dip into their savings, many have had to face the daunting prospect, that in the present circumstances, they presumedly would not be able to afford the 10% or higher deposits generally required.
- To help to revive the recent property boom, Rishi Sunak decided to extend the Stamp Duty Holiday until June. This was to ensure that those who were in the middle of purchasing a property weren’t caught short and were able to complete on their transaction, but also to encourage even more people to purchase their first home. The Stamp Duty Holiday would save consumers an average of £10,000 on the price of a property, so potential buyers were once more being persuaded to seize the opportunity and re-boot the property market.
- The chancellor also re-introduced 95% mortgages to allow buyers, worried about not being able to afford a large down-payment in the present climate, the opportunity to have enough cash to put down a smaller deposit for their first home. At the same time extending confidence to would be lenders guaranteeing Government back-up security, should buyers default on house purchases up to the value of £600,000.
Why an increase in house prices:
Because of the advantages of the Stamp Duty and the 95% Mortgage offers, opportunistic lenders are seizing the moment. Taking advantage of the sudden increase in demand for housing, and with the shortage of homes actually accessible, sellers are increasing the sale price of their available properties. Prompted by enforced lifestyle changes and the need to move or downsize, due to the lockdowns over the past year, this has culminated in around a £20,000 average increase per home.
Will I still be able to afford to buy:
With an unprecedented fluctuating economy, it is impossible to foresee with any assurance what will happen to house prices and rents in the coming year. But, with the financial support offered by the Government, there may not be a better time than the present to continue to take advantage of the support offered and make that first move to get on the property ladder.
Rent payments in the private sector continue to rise at an alarming rate, and for many, with the lower mortgage deposit and the Stamp Duty cut continuing, certainly for the next few months, this could be a great opportunity for those renting, to finally buy a property of their own, with the mortgage payments being probably the same or in some cases, possibly less than the rental charges they’re paying at the moment. This will anticipate a welcome estimated 75% surge of first-time home buyers being ex rental tenants.
The Government’s success in ensuring new home builds will significantly impact on future house and rental prices. Unless house availability increases rapidly, prices will either remain high or continue to rise as the demand for properties will continue to put pressure on the financial accessibility for many.
Use it or lose it:
It’s not all doom and gloom. If you’re willing and able to take advantage of the Government’s current extended help to buy schemes, you could still become the owner of your own home. Go for it and good luck!