House price growth was at 5.2 per cent in February 2021 according to the latest figures from Halifax, down slightly from 5.4 per cent in January.
The news follows the Budget last week, which saw the extension of the stamp duty holiday up to a £500,000 threshold until 30 June 2021 – a three-month extension on the previous deadline of 31 March 2021. This then tapers to a £250,000 threshold from 1 July 2021 to 30 September and the threshold resumes to its original figure of £125,000 from 1 October 2021.
This is likely to buoy the property market, giving buyers more time to complete property transactions to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday and potentially save thousands of pounds on their transaction.
Uncertainty was prevalent as we entered the New Year, with England in national lockdown and buyers seeking clarity over the future of the stamp duty holiday.
However, now that a roadmap out of lockdown has been published and the stamp duty holiday extended, many experts believe that buyer confidence will increase in the coming months, leading to a more certain marketplace.
The Government also announced the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme, aimed at helping first-time buyers get onto the property ladder by guaranteeing five per cent deposit mortgages, with several key lenders signing up to the scheme.
The house price increase in February indicates where the property market is at, with general positivity being underpinned by uncertainty in the first quarter of 2021.
However, announcements made in the Budget on 3 March should provide certainty and confidence to give the property market another boost during the spring.
Russell Galley, Managing Director of Halifax, said: “The new mortgage guarantee scheme is another welcome development from the Budget.
“Whilst mortgage approvals have reached record highs in recent months, hitting levels not seen since before the financial crisis of 2008, raising a deposit continues to be the single biggest hurdle for first-time buyers to overcome.”
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