At the height of lockdown, dire predictions of economic disaster, huge job losses and a deep property market slump were relentless. It seemed there was no good news to be found.
While uncertainty still prevails, sparks of hope are beginning to creep in, though infection rates started to rise in early September. New data from mortgage technology provider Twenty7Tec showed that July was the busiest month of 2020 for mortgage searches, beating all pre-lockdown figures, branding the recovery as ‘astonishing.’
Stamp Duty ‘holiday’ a driving factor
The July mortgage boom can largely be attributed to the nine-month Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) cut announced by the Chancellor on 8 July.
The tax break, which will temporarily raise the threshold at which no Stamp Duty is paid on property purchases in England (except the 3% surcharge on buy-to-let and second homes) from £125,000 to £500,000 until 31 March 2021, is also said to be behind a significant hike in mortgage searches for properties in the £500k to £1m bracket. Properties within this price range have suddenly become affordable to many more aspiring buyers due to the thousands of pounds they stand to save on Stamp Duty. Different rules and thresholds apply to the Land Transaction Tax holiday in Wales.
Confidence returns for first-time buyers
First-time buyers were unarguably the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with lenders withdrawing hundreds of mortgage products designed for buyers with lower deposits in the months following the outbreak. However, the data showed that searches among this group are now on the rise, suggesting that confidence is finally returning.
Get your search underway
If you want to find a mortgage, and take advantage of the Stamp Duty cut, then don’t delay. Finding a suitable mortgage can be challenging, especially in the current climate – which is why we’re here. We can assess the various mortgage products available and advise on which is best suited to your circumstances.
As a mortgage is secured against your home, it could be repossessed if you do not keep up the mortgage repayments.