housing market remains open for business
While England has returned to lockdown, with the Prime Minister encouraging the population to ‘stay at home’, this time around the property market remains open for business. Unlike the first lockdown, sellers and buyers remain able and keen to proceed with their transactions, particularly with the incentive of the stamp duty holiday to tempt them. With lawyers, surveyors and agents all still working, any further delays to transactions should be limited.
It is now down to the comfort level of sellers in terms of allowing potential buyers in to view their homes and buyers feeling comfortable attending those viewings. Extra caution is rightly being taken on all sides to allow viewings to proceed.
lending in lockdown
As far as lending is concerned, this lockdown has no impact on MT Finance’s appetite to lend, which is unchanged.
We feel the market won’t be disrupted as it was last year because there is an end in sight, thanks to the rollout of the vaccination programme. This, along with the fact that valuers and solicitors can still work and can still gain access to properties, should provide further confidence in the housing market as a whole. Borrowers, in turn, will feel more confident that their transactions will complete.
the government’s crucial role
However, what this lockdown does mean is that the stamp duty holiday – due to expire at the end of March – will have to be extended, if not made permanent.
The Chancellor must look at the deadline again, in light of this unexpected lockdown. Buyers were already under the cosh trying to complete before the end of March; the latest lockdown won’t help, plus the sheer volume of buyers trying to get deals done will mean not all will meet the deadline.
The likely implementation of higher capital gains tax and the end of the stamp duty holiday should either be postponed or taken off the agenda for now, to prevent any further halt or disruption to the already-battered economy.
The housing market is certainly thriving, and it would be disastrous if this was not allowed to continue. Encouraging figures from the Bank of England released this week provided further confirmation of the prevailing strength and confidence in the housing market before this latest lockdown, with the highest mortgage approval levels and further borrowings in over a decade in November.
Households are keen to maximise space in their current homes by extending, converting lofts and refurbishing, as more time is spent at home. With mortgage rates so low, homeowners are also taking advantage of existing equity in their homes to borrow more to cover living expenses as they also deal with concerns over future employment and income, as so many industries are affected by the pandemic.
MT Finance – always here to help
MT Finance remains open for business and ready to help with your residential, commercial or semi-commercial investment purchases. We do not require personal guarantees, minimum credit scores or proof of income – instead, we focus on the property and your plans for it.
If you’re looking to purchase an investment property and need to act quickly, please get in touch to find out how MT Finance can help on 0203 051 2331 or fill in our contact form, and someone will be in touch with you shortly.