It’s normal to feel thrilled when you decide to buy a house. After all, buying a house gets you on the property ladder and gives you access to more space and comfort. However, buying a house during particular periods or when you’re in certain circumstances isn’t always the right decision. Is now a good time to buy a house? We take a look.
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What is the average house price in the UK?
According to the Office for National Statistics, the average house price in the UK increased by 10.2% over the year to March 2021. This is also an increase from February 2021, which indicated a 9.2% compared to February 2020.
England reported a 10.2% increase to an average of £275,000, Wales an 11% increase to £185,000, Scotland a 10.6% increase to £167,000 and Northern Ireland a 6% increase to £149,000.
Why do UK house prices keep going up?
To help support the housing market affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the government implemented a number of initiatives to make buying more attractive. These initiatives fuelled demand for houses, which in turn caused house prices to keep rising.
How has the government helped the housing market?
The government has supported the housing market through initiatives like:
1. The stamp duty holiday
The stamp duty holiday was implemented to help home buyers afford properties during the Covid-19 pandemic. During the holiday, property buyers have not been required to pay stamp duty on properties valued at up to £500,000.
The stamp duty holiday is due to end on 30 June 2021. From 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021, the threshold will reduce to £250,000. You can use the stamp duty calculator on the gov.uk website to find out how much you could save.
2. Relief for first-time buyers
If you’re a first-time buyer interested in purchasing a property with a value of no more than £500,000, you will eligible for stamp duty relief from 1 July 2021. No stamp duty applies to the first £300,000, but 5% stamp duty applies to the remaining £200,000.
3. Generation buy and the mortgage guarantee schemes
Many first-time buyers can now get on the property ladder with only a 5% deposit. Lenders who have signed up for the scheme are offering 95% mortgages backed by a government guarantee.
Is now a good time to buy a house?
Buying a house at any time should be driven by your unique circumstances, whether the deals available are right for you and whether it makes financial sense. Taking on a mortgage you can’t afford can lead to far-reaching consequences. It makes a lot of sense to evaluate your unique circumstances first.
Before starting the buying process, speaking to either a financial adviser or a mortgage broker might be in your best interest. They can help you evaluate your financial situation and circumstances and inform you with certainty whether a particular opportunity is right for you.
It may also be important to note that there are particular times of the year when it might be cheaper to buy a house. These times, coupled with government initiatives, could present an excellent opportunity to afford a house.
However, even during such times, evaluating your financial situation and unique circumstances should always come first.
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