Now we are in April, we have had plenty of time to consider the impact of the budget housing measures. There has been a lot of focus in the national media, but at Country Properties, we are more interested in what is happening in the local property market.
The two key measures announced in the March Budget include:
- The extension of the stamp duty holiday
- The introduction of the small deposit mortgage guarantee scheme
The small deposit mortgage guarantee scheme is available to first-time buyers, and existing homeowners, so there is an opportunity for many buyers to benefit.
Also, it is worth remembering property purchases must be no higher than £600,000 to benefit from the scheme.
“Properties in Hitchin had an overall average price of £317,942 over the last year.
The majority of sales in Hitchin during the last year were terraced properties, selling for an average price of £291,153. Semi-detached properties sold for an average of £372,450, with flats fetching £196,832.
Overall, sold prices in Hitchin over the last year were 1% up on the previous year and similar to the 2017 peak of £318,422.”
Therefore, if you are looking to buy property in Hitchin, and you wish to benefit from the small deposit mortgage guarantee scheme, you should be able to.
You also have the average price of flats coming in at £196,832. This is beneath the £250,000 nil band rate, which will exist for stamp duty between July and the end of September. The tapering period is to assist the market manage property transactions as much as the consumer, but some buyers in Hitchin have a chance to lower the cost of moving home in the next few months.
Andrew Harvey, chief economist at Nationwide, said: “We have seen a significant widening in the gap between the least affordable and most affordable regions. London has been the least affordable region for most of the past 40 years - the house price to earnings ratio in the capital reached a record high in 2016 of 10.2 and remained elevated at 9.2 at the end of 2020. Scotland currently has the lowest house price to earnings ratio at 3.2, closely followed by the North at 3.3. Looking over the longer term, Northern England and Scotland have historically seen lower house price to earnings ratios than Southern England, Wales and Northern Ireland.”
Zoopla’s head of research, Gráinne Gilmor spoke about first-time buyers returning to the market. Gráinne said; “Our data suggests that first-time buyers are returning to the housing market. The level of interest from people looking to step onto the housing ladder was up 5% in the first six weeks of this year compared with the last three months of 2020. We’ve also seen a 18% increase in the number of sales agreed on homes worth between £100,000 and £250,000, a price band typically associated with first-time buyers, in the first seven weeks of this year.”
Currently, in line with Government guidelines, our Hitchin branch is open and our sales and lettings personnel are on hand to assist you. To clients old and new, if you have any queries or need advice on property sales and lettings then please call 01462 452951 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.