This week: Stamp duty, student blocks and mortgages for self-employed
Data revealed this week that the number of first-time buyers had surged, particularly since the stamp duty cut in November, although the number of young people on middle incomes who own their own homes has halved over the past 20 years. The leasehold debate continues with huge numbers of properties sold last year on a leasehold basis, while housing activity in general saw a significant peak in interest according to Rightmove. Meanwhile, mortgage lenders are proving competitive with deals for 10-year fixed rates and mortgages for freelancers. Here are seven things you might have missed this week…
1. Stamp duty cuts are working as first-time buyers snap up properties
The number of mortgaged first-time buyers in the UK rose to 365,000 last year, the highest levels seen in more than a decade, with one agent registering a 16% surge in January.
2. Leasehold properties made up a third of all homes sold last year
The end of 2017 saw the government crack down on leaseholds and ground rents across England and Wales, but Land Registry data shows that almost 32% of all transactions last year were made up of leasehold properties.
3. Rightmove gets record-high number of visitors amid asking price rises
Asking prices across the UK rose in all areas except the south-west over the past month, with the average property listed on Rightmove now priced at £300,001, while the number of homes on the market with estate agents has also increased.
4. Purpose-built student blocks can provide healthy returns for investors
Purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) has seen strong rental growth over the years, even during the financial crisis, and Birmingham is one city where student property investment is on the rise.
5. Will less homeowners mean more opportunities for landlords?
Last week’s news that home ownership among young adults had “collapsed” means more renters than ever are looking for a place to call home – so why is the government cracking down on landlords?
6. Borrowers looking at 10-year fixed mortgages despite rising rates
The latest research from moneyfacts.co.uk shows that the average interest rate on a 10-year fixed mortgage is on the rise. After hitting a record low of 2.96% at the start of February, the average 10-year fixed rate product has since crept back up to 3.05%.
7. UK mortgage market is opening up for freelancers and self-employed
Those who are self-employed have always faced a more difficult process when it comes to securing a mortgage; a recent study by The Mortgage Lender found that 71% of the self-employed borrowers they surveyed felt discriminated against because of their employment status.
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