Naturally most post here are US-focused, but I hope there are others here with an interest in the UK. This is a brief post for anybody who is interested with a little snapshot of changes to the UK market this week.

  • 1. During this weeks budget it was announced that the stamp duty holiday would be extended. Stamp Duty is a government tax payable on land and property purchases. The rate of this tax is banded based on purchase price (tax rate increases with purchase price) and can vary in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (the name of the tax changes slightly also). To keep the property market buoyant this tax was removed for cheaper properties and originally due to end on 31 March. This has now been extended to 31 May 2021, with a step up until 31 August 2021. From 1 Sept 2021 the stamp duty rate will return to normal.
  • 2. With the announcement of the above measure, Rightmove (the UK's largest portal) reported a record number of views. This would suggest that the lure of reduced stamp duty is giving the market much needed confidence to take advantage of the additional affordability.
  • 3. The government have also announced that they will be guaranteeing residential mortgages of 95% LTV. This will help those with a smaller deposit get onto the property ladder. Such high LTV products have been very thin on the ground, so hopefully this will allow those with a smaller deposit to get into the market. I have my doubts as to the wisdom of this, those of us who lived through the credit crunch saw the danger of high LTV loans with respect to loans going underwater and the knock-on affects. Hopefully the government guarantee will help avoid the problems we saw last time.

This is only a brief snapshot with only a small amount of commentary. If anybody is interested in the UK market I'd be happy to chat directly or add some more detail to this or another post, including how this will affect landlords and property investors. I just want to test the water to see if there's any mileage in this type of post.