House prices took a 'surprise' jump upwards in January, as national property values rose by 0.6%. Some commentators are saying that house prices do tend to move unpredictably at this time of year, obviously as seasonal celebrations do mix things up a little.
Having said that, the stamp duty relief for first-time buyers is sure to have had an effect, given the degree of help it has had in reducing the up-front cost of buying. Considering that there is, in many places, a shortage of properties coming to market, when you do find the right one, any help towards affordability is key so that you don't miss out.
With all the buzz around the reduction in Stamp Duty, being as it was a very welcome change for most buyers and sellers we meet, it'd be easy to forget about various Help to Buy initiatives that can also be a real support for buyers.
The main hurdle you should be working towards is a 5% deposit if you're hoping to buy a home. To start off with, it's a good idea to be saving into a Help to Buy ISA, as many of our clients find this to be a pretty substantial way to boost your savings. The government pays a 25% bonus (upon completion of sale) of savings put into the ISA, so for instance if you had been saving for a while and had amassed £4,000 in your account, this would then increase to £5,000 upon completion, plus any interest earned; so definitely worthwhile.
The Help to Buy equity loan could be your route to getting a new build property that you may have thought was out of reach.The Help to Buy London scheme is the real headline here with a 35% interest free Government Loan for 5 years being a massive attraction to those who have a 5% deposit and only need income multiples for a 60% mortgage.
Actually, the Help to Buy equity loan is not limited to just first-time buyers, so could be suitable for more general home-movers. The loan is interest free for the first 5 years, after which a pretty reasonable interest rate is applied, with flexible staircasing options.
At Rolfe East, we have plenty of desirable new homes in various locations selling quickly as we speak, that with Help to Buy you might find surprisingly affordable.
Get in touch to find out more!