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Is now a good time to buy a house?

As COVID restrictions come to an end, is now, the summer of 2021, a good time to buy a house?

3 minute read

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Is now a good time to buy a house? With the end of the stamp duty holiday, home buyers may feel they’ve missed their chance to get a good deal.

Reports of inflated house prices fuelled by the tax break and a lack of supply of the right properties, mean some people will now hold off buying in the hope that more homes come to market later in the year. Indeed, some commentators suggest the end of furlough in September will prompt more properties being put up for sale as financial situations change.

But there are always reasons why people need or want to move home now. Perhaps it’s only now, as we emerge from coronavirus restrictions, that people have fully re-evaluated what they want from their home and feel confident enough to start the home buying process.

It may be your desire to move now is motivated by one of the perennial triggers for a house move: death, divorce and debt.

Or, more positively, perhaps you are one of the households which last year put away almost three times as much money as the year before, a trend reported by the investment firm Hargreaves Lansdown. Having squirrelled away cash for over a year, perhaps you are only now in the best financial position to buy.

Whatever the driver for your home move, rest assured there are a lot of good reasons why now is a good time to buy a house:

1. You’ve beat the rush

The housing world went mad there for a while, motivated by buyers trying to make savings from the stamp duty holiday deadline. But there are definite downsides to buying in a hot market. A survey by Aviva this week revealed that 94% of people who had purchased a home since March 2020 said they had felt under pressure to buy quickly, typically taking just 46 minutes to view their property.  Around nine in 10 (92%) pandemic buyers also found problems with their home that they had not noticed during the viewing.

With more time on your hands to properly view, in person, without any COVID restrictions, and to have an all important second or third viewing, you should avoid any such regrets.

And delays that have riddled the home buying process in recent months are starting to dissipate. Conveyancing firms have more availability, local authority search times are improving and mortgage lenders are responding more quickly.

This time last month we were hearing of horror stories with desperate homeowners offering to pay double the usual removal fee to gazump other booked customers and secure a removal firm. You can be smug in knowing you dodged this chaos. Get quotes from local removals firms and get a great service at the right price.  

2. Low mortgage rates

Mortgage lenders continue to compete for your business with more sub-1% mortgage deals on offer this month.  Good news if you’re buying or remortgaging. And even those with a small deposit can benefit. Read more about the best mortgage rates this month

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3. New government schemes

The First Homes scheme, which provides discounted homes for first time buyers, launched in June 2021 as another government initiative to help first time buyers get on the property ladder.

There are currently developments in Bolsover, East Midlands and Cannock, Staffordshire with more to come over the course of the year. Read more about how the scheme works.

And if that’s not quick enough for you, take a look instead at the government’s existing mortgage guarantee scheme and local shared ownership schemes which also help first time buyers with lower deposits to get on the housing ladder.

4. Lower than normal stamp duty rates

While you won’t be benefiting from the full stamp duty holiday, homebuyers can still benefit from reduced stamp duty rates until October when rates will finally revert to normal. Try our calculator below to see how much you’ll pay.

Stamp Duty Calculator for England & NI, Scotland and Wales

1. Where is the property you are buying? more info

Please select a location for your property

2. Enter your property price

Please enter a value for your property over £10,000

3. Are you a first time buyer? more info

Please let us know if you are a first time buyer

4. Are you a UK resident? more info

5. Will the purchase of the property result in owning two or more properties? more info

5. Is it an investment property? more info

6. Is the property being purchased replacing your main residence? more info

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Is now a good time to buy a house? What’s holding you back? Tell us in the comments below

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