This year has certainly been one to remember, and unfortunately mainly for the all the wrong reasons due to Covid-19. Lock-downs, bailouts, travel bans, coupled with Brexit talk dominated the news throughout the year, but in the midst of all of that the announcement of the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday see sparkles of hope for the UK property market, with record numbers of home movers since the holiday launch.
Now upon reflection the statisticians at Nationwide have calculated that UK house prices climbed 7.5% in 2020, which is the highest growth rate seen in the past six years. Quarter one 2021 should see an early spike in further activity in the property market, with last minute buyers trying to secure a property to complete on by the 31st March 2021. We’ll no doubt see some frantic scenes as we close in on the holiday end date, but with three months remaining there is ample time for the organised and prepared to ready a completion prior to deadline.
In light of all of this activity though, first time buyers who were looking to buy at 90% or 95% loan to value typically found themselves in a quandary, as lending options were rather scarce, especially at the back end of summer and start of winter. However, lenders have generally rallied to be more accessible in the 90% loan to value lending market, whilst the 95% market remains incredibly limited and is a stark contrast versus this time last year.
Depending on the publication and an individuals political persuasion, the economic forecast for 2021 will either look bleak or relatively stable. It’s unavoidable that unemployment will cause harm during 2021, potentially at unprecedented levels, but assuming this isn’t as bad as first thought, then 2021 may just be A-OK. There were murmurs of possible Government backed schemes that would assist first time buyers to acquire a property, although this was just hearsay, but it is probable they’ll be a surprise or two up the sleeve of the BoE Monetary Policy Committee to help ease any financial woes and boost the economy where strategically safe to do so.
Roll on 2021, and let’s hope the ride isn’t as wild as 2020!