The budget statement presented by Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a support package of over £350bn. This is good news for the UK and our local economy, it demonstrates the Chancellor’s considered response to the pandemic.
In relation to the property market, the ongoing support measures and schemes offer more than just a helping hand, they have been and continue to give a boost to both sellers and buyers.
Stamp Duty Holiday has been extended
The Stamp Duty holiday has now been extended until the 30th June 2021, which means buyers can still benefit from this welcome saving. After this date, to transition smoothly, the nil rate band of £250,000 will apply until the end of September. From the 1st October 2021, SDLT will revert to £125,000. Those who have been sitting on the fence awaiting the Chancellor’s budget announcement will be able to move forward now with purchases and sales.
On track for a swifter more sustainable recovery
The announcement has shown the Chancellor is determined to follow through for ‘a swifter and more sustainable recovery of the economy’.
Rishi Sunak’s confirmation in his statement that the Government will guarantee loans for 95% mortgages, which will be offered by some of the major lenders including Barclays, Lloyds and Santander to help those jump on to the property ladder, is going to spark further confidence amongst first time buyers across our region.
Over recent months, we have seen lenders becoming more flexible again on LTV (loan to value), attractive interest rates being extended and additional low cost products coming available. In addition, the Government’s Help to Buy scheme has been extended until 2023 for first time buyers wanting to buy a new build property. These are all positive factors which will benefit the housing market and particularly across our patch, which has enjoyed much activity throughout the first quarter of this year.
Vaccine path to freedom and furlough brings certainty
Now that the vaccine rollout has been well established we are looking to a time when the majority of national restrictions will be lifted; Boris Johnson has indicated that this could happen in June.
In the meantime, reassurance for people that the furlough scheme and SEISS grants have been extended until the end of September, will bring certainty to those who were putting their plans to move on hold. Now buyers and sellers can take their next steps, whether that’s choosing a home with space for an office, finding a property with potential to extend for a family, or wanting more outdoor space and a bigger garden.
The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) forecast of 7.3% growth for 2022 is encouraging for everyone in business. The extension of business and community support schemes will give the UK great confidence as we come out of Lockdown 3.
The Budget sets out a clear recovery plan that can only help the housing market throughout the rest of this year.