The coronavirus pandemic has taken a huge toll on Britain’s economy, and whilst the OBR project that we are likely to recover by mid-2022, the UK in its entirety has been struggling over the last 12 months. The government made the decision to borrow and divide up more money in order to provide job protection and security for the British population, however, that money will consequently need to be made back through tighter financial restrictions with regards to public spending and a tax rise in late 2021.
An upside to this situation is that, despite national restrictions enforced by the PM Boris Johnson, property agents have still been allowed to conduct in-person viewings with potential buyers, with the option of virtual viewings in a lot of cases for those unable to travel/cross county borders. In addition to the 95% mortgage extension (valid until September 2021), this means that first-time buyers have the breathing room to synchronise with their chosen mortgage lender and broker to finalise any sales made from January 2021 or any period from last year.
Michael El-Kassir (managing director of GRE Assets) has commented that, as a consequence of the lockdown measures (due to the pandemic) and the lower interest rates, the Help to Buy scheme, the 95% mortgage scheme and the stamp duty holiday extension, prospective buyers have had a “wake-up call”, with many now re-evaluating what they want in a new property.
Distinction Wealth, one of London’s top property investment companies, states that “moving forward, the Government’s introduction and extension of the stamp duty holiday and the reintroduction of the 95% mortgage scheme is set to aid significantly in boosting activity in the property market, painting a bright post-pandemic future for investors.”
“The fiscal stimulus package agreed by Treasury over the last year had been a substantial investment in the UK economy – and it has kept the construction sector alive. We’re seeing no slowdown in planning applications whatsoever – especially in our market hotspots. Our clients are still seeking housing consents, while the market is buoyed by the stamp duty holiday. There is still considerable value to be had in sites suitable for residential planning permission.” Ben Norton, Planning Consultant, Norton Taylor Nunn.