Springing into action
Spring beckons and pathways to end lockdown restrictions have been outlined across the UK, the roadmap to ‘normality’ a sharp contrast to a year ago. Consumer confidence is showing shoots of recovery and the Chancellor’s Budget provides continued support for those seeking to own their own home.
Sales were up by 12.8 per cent in the South East, 12 per cent in the South West and 10.1 per cent in London in the last 12 months, year on year.
Consumer confidence in the economy rose to an eleven-month high in February, no doubt bolstered by the impact of the swift vaccine rollout across the UK. GfK report that consumer views on the economy in general and their personal financial situation both improved, as did their willingness to make major purchases. This bodes well for consumer spending as restrictions are lifted.
Although many expected activity in the housing market to falter during the start of 2021, with the Stamp Duty deadline too close to benefit new buyers, the market continues to show resilience. The Chancellor’s Budget offered a sober assessment of the legacy of the Covid-19 pandemic and despite the increase in borrowing, there were few immediate significant tax changes.
The extension of the Stamp Duty Holiday in England until the end of June is welcomed, as is a zero per cent SDLT levy on properties up to £250,000 until the end of September 2021. A new government-backed mortgage guarantee scheme is set to launch on 1 April across the UK. The scheme will be available to those seeking to purchase up to £600,000 and will support purchasers who require a 95 per cent mortgage. Unlike many schemes, support will be available to all purchasers and not restricted to first-time buyers or new build homes.
Looking to make the most of the stamp duty savings before the end of the extension or hoping to take advantage of the new 95% mortgage scheme? Get in touch with your local Fine & Country agent in the UK or overseas to find out how we can market your property to get you ahead of other sellers and book a valuation today.