• Dean

Kent Property News December 2020

Kent Property Market Booms With Large Savings On Stamp Duty

It has been a difficult year for most in more ways than one and with the Government Schemes slowly coming to an end there may be hard times ahead. The stamp duty exemption scheme has been a success in keeping the property market moving. It's simplicity and financial benefits to homeowners is a shining light, coming to an end at the end of March 2021.

In July 2020 the stamp duty threshold was temporarily increased to £500,000 by the UK Government to support the housing market. Something which almost had to be done due to the importance housing has on the UK economy.

This meant that until 31 March 2021 there is no stamp duty to pay on residential properties worth £500,000 or less.

To give an example if you purchased a property for £450,000 before July 2020 the Stamp Duty costs would have been £12,500. Up until the end of March, it would be £0 making for an impressive saving.

We have noticed that the scheme has created a buoyant market throughout Kent, boosting sales and in turn increasing property value. UK average house prices saw an annual increase of 4.7% over the year to September 2020, new data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed. It's difficult to say if this trend will continue when the scheme comes to an end, reliant on many factors including further lockdowns, suppressing the pandemic and Brexit.

The return of 90% Loan to Value Mortgages?

In terms of providing Mortgage Advice to the people of Kent, we have continuously been engaged with lenders on a daily basis. This year has seen so many changes including the withdrawal and lack of low deposit mortgages with First Time Buyers being the hardest hit, as well as people with high Loan to Values looking to remortgage. 5% deposit mortgages seem a thing of the past, however, there have been recent positive developments regarding 10% deposit mortgages. We have seen Accord, Platform and Nationwide all re-enter the market in recent weeks. This is great news as we move into 2021 and should help with any potential slump caused by the ending of the Stamp Duty Holiday. Lenders are becoming more aware of the issues for high Loan to Value mortgages and following adjusting to Working From Home, lockdowns and ever-changing criteria we are sensing the return of something close to mortgage normality.

Henry Jordan, Director of Mortgages at Nationwide Building Society, said: “Nationwide was founded to help people into homes of their own and that remains the case as much today as it did 135 years ago. As a mutual, owned by our members, we aim to balance supporting first-time buyers into a home of their own with the need to lend responsibly. Given the uncertainty created by the pandemic, our re-entry into 90% LTV lending back in July was deliberately cautious and included enhanced criteria.

“Four months on, we are increasingly confident in our approach and so are delighted to be able to expand our support for the market to include home movers whilst removing some of the temporary criteria for first-time buyers, making it easier for parents to help them take their first step onto the housing ladder.”

We will continue to provide our clients with advice tailored to their circumstances in this ever-changing housing market. As well as providing Mortgage and Protection Advice we continue to offer useful tips and guidance throughout the entire process from start to finish. We truly believe that Mortgage Advice is more important than it's ever been.

We remain positively optimistic having helped many people achieve their housing goals in recent months and so are looking forward to 2021.

Thanks for reading.

Dean @ Avant Garde - Mortgage and Protection Adviser


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