The housing market should be buoyant thanks to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Spring Budget, but Slater Heelis Solicitors have warned that until there is more clarity in the details, sellers and purchasers should still aim for a 31st March deal to be done.
The stamp duty holiday has now been extended into the summer as part of the government’s aim to ensure the economy is rebuilt and so that they can turn ‘generation rent into generation buy’.
He announced house deals with a value of up to £500,000 will face no stamp duty until June 30. The threshold will then be reduced to £250,000 between July and September, before returning to the original rate of £125,000 on October 1
Zara Banday, Head of Residential Property at Slater Heelis, is however taking a more cautious view until the finer terms and conditions are shared saying: “As with everything, the devil is in the detail and until we know what that is, I would urge people not to get over excited too soon about the extension to the stamp duty holiday.
“If everything is as it seems from the initial budget announcement, then this is great news for purchasers, but what hasn’t been confirmed is if this applies to any new deals done and offers on properties made after the initial March deadline.
“My question to the Chancellor is, does a deal still need to be on the table by the end of March to qualify for the holiday? If not, then it is a green light for the sector that has been facing a severe backlog as many rushed to get a mortgage offer over the line in time to qualify; with some people even buying properties that they hadn’t even been to view.”
In the Spring budget, Chancellor Sunak highlighted the half a million jobs supported by the housing sector and “the sheer volume of transactions” currently underway as he affirmed that the stamp duty holiday put in place last summer has helped hundreds of thousands of people buy a home.
Zara added: “What was certainly good news and would have been welcomed by many was the announcement of new support for home buyers who face challenges of saving for a deposit, with the Government providing a new, already trialed, mortgage guarantee scheme for lenders who offer 95% mortgages.”
The Chancellor confirmed that several of the country’s largest lenders, including Lloyds, NatWest, Santander, Barclays and HSBC will be offering 95% mortgages from next month, with more to follow.
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