The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has pledged to create two million more homeowners with the introduction of a new 5% deposit mortgage scheme for first-time buyers, aimed at helping younger people in particular get onto the property ladder.
At the annual Conservative conference, held virtually this year because of Coronavirus restrictions, the Prime Minister stated that he wanted to ‘fix our broken housing market’ by building more homes and by making mortgages more affordable. The proposal would involve offering long-term fixed rate mortgage deals to first-time buyers who have a 5% deposit.
Mr Johnson claimed that this would create two million more owner-occupiers and be ‘the biggest expansion of homeownership since the 1980s’. He also said that it would turn ‘Generation Rent into Generation Buy’.
While of course I welcome the Prime Minister’s plan to encourage home ownership by creating two million more homeowners, my feeling is that this is a lovely bit of rhetoric from Boris aimed at fuelling market sentiment, but it does come with a clear and obvious problem. Where are they going to live?
Yes, the affordability of homeownership is a problem at present and providing buyers with a foot up via a smaller deposit will help many to overcome this hurdle. In the more inflated markets such as London, it reduces the deposit required by some £25,000 and so the initial saving is notable.
However, we’re simply not building enough homes and the government’s head in the sand approach to this burning issue is going to bring about problems when those securing these new mortgages actually look for a home.
Unless we address this, we will see house prices continue to climb ever higher as a result of this new initiative, to the detriment of those it’s ironically supposed to help.The new scheme is likely to come into force in 2023, when the Help to Buy scheme ends.
The Prime Minister’s announcement comes on top of Stamp Duty savings which property buyers are currently taking advantage of, following the government’s current Stamp Duty reductions which apply to property purchases in England and Northern Ireland until March 31st 2021.
This Stamp Duty tax cut is a temporary measure, aimed at boosting the UK’s post lockdown property market, and ends on March 31st 2021. Stamp Duty is payable on completion of a purchase, so if buyers have exchanged contracts but not yet completed, they should do so before March 31st 2021 to take advantage of the tax savings.
If you are a buyer, looking for a new property or a second hand property in a new build, please contact our sales team, we have lots of opportunities we can introduce you to.
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