Getting onto the Housing Ladder in the UK
July 10, 2012
NAEA successfully campaigned for the introduction of the original Stamp Duty Holiday for properties priced at £250,000 and below. The exemption has since been lifted and the 1% tax reinstated as the Government rolls out its NewBuy Guarantee Scheme, designed to assist home buyers.
“Since the economic downturn took hold in 2007, we have consistently called for increased support for first time buyers to aid the wider recovery of the housing market,” says Mark Hayward, president of the NAEA. “Assisting those seeking property at the start of the ladder could help to generate upward momentum in the market. The Stamp Duty Holiday provided a degree of breathing space and without it the prospect of homeownership will mean more months of saving for many people.”
The latest figures from the UK’s Council of Mortgage Lenders show a 24% rise in gross mortgage lending in May, but this follows a very poor performance in April. Although the average UK house price has dropped by 3.29% year-on-year, just 12,600 loans were advanced in April, down 48% from March data. The number of sales to first time buyers decreased to its lowest level in seven months during May, according to NAEA.
“It is likely we will see lending levels continue to fluctuate in the coming months until an adequate mechanism to support the first time buyer market is introduced and restrictive lending policies are curtailed,” says Hayward. “[We need to see] much more commitment from the Government and the major lenders to help lift the barrier house hunters trying to buy, currently face.”