Property Update – April 2021
“Many of us are itching for a change of scenery after a year of #stayhome.”
By Jemma Holden, Managing Director
Whilst adding the ‘stress’ of a house move on top of the difficulties of the pandemic may put some off, we give an insight into why now could be the perfect time to get into the market…
IT’S A SELLERS’ MARKET
The latest Rightmove house price index said that this was the best sellers’ market in a decade as 66% of properties on estate agents books have had their sales agreed.
Plus, the number of inquiries from potential buyers is 34% higher than a year ago. As a result, the average asking price rose by 2.7% in the year.
This said, it is important price rises should remain moderate because of mortgage lending criteria making it more difficult to secure a mortgage for your buyer when the lender comes to having their own valuation or survey. Correct pricing of your property can be crucial when lending is involved.
Spring is traditionally the busiest time for the property market and this year is expected to be even busier. This strong sellers’ market is good news for those who are looking to put their home on the market as the traditional selling season approaches.
The government has announced a new 5% deposit home loan guarantee scheme, which will be available to current homeowners as well as first time buyers looking to purchase a house for up to £600,000.
This initiative will be available to lenders from April and is designed to increase the appetite of mortgage lenders to offer high loan-to-value lending to creditworthy customers across the UK.
Banks including Lloyds, Natwest, Santander, Barclays and HSBC have already signed up to the scheme with more set to follow.
Under the scheme, the government will offer to take on some of the risk of low deposit loans, meaning lenders would have some protection from potential losses.
STAMP DUTY HOLDAY EXTENDED
The temporary stamp duty holiday in England and Northern Ireland has been extended until the end of June.
This means that if you are buying a home up to the value of £500,000 you will not pay any stamp duty.
Also, up until the end of September, there will be no stamp duty on property purchases up to £250,000.
Rightmove estimate that there are currently over 600,000 sales going through, and this massive number, coupled with the challenges of conveyancers and council back-log, has led to delays in the home-buying process.
All things considered, if you are thinking of moving home, now is the time to act.