Post-Pandemic UK Property Finance
The property market in the UK has experienced a huge boom since mid-2020. Many experts have cited the stamp duty holiday introduced to prevent a pandemic-influenced crash as the catalyst. This approach has now been all but phased out, with normal taxation methods to resume completely by 1st October 2021.
Yet the market continues to operate at an exceptionally high level thanks to additional actions taken by the UK government, mortgage lenders and others. So, what has changed in the world of property finance in these unusual times? Here, we explore some of the most notable aspects of home-buying, property investment and other elements of property finance in 2021.
Rock-Bottom Mortgage Interest Rates
Interest rates have dropped dramatically in the COVID era, with the Bank of England interest base rate sitting at just 0.1%. With Nationwide launching a 0.99% mortgage deal in mid-2021, the bar has been set for unprecedented borrowing.
The Nationwide opportunity is not available to first time buyers, however, and the lending cap that was introduced in 2014 as a response to the credit crunch remains in place. This means that there are still restrictions in place to prevent major household debt.These rates appear to have added fuel to the fire of the current property market boom.
Ruban Selvanayagam of quick auction company Property Solvers (based in the UK) commented, however, that: “the resulting boom in house prices has required larger deposits which continues to ostracise many of the young out of the buying market, particularly in the south of the country. It’s important for the government to address this.”
One of the reasons behind the currently skyrocketing UK property prices is the mismatch between supply and demand. Downsizers who have been hit hard by the pandemic join a pool that also contains home-workers and currently or previously furloughed employees. The latter are seeking properties with more room, office space or outside areas to meet their new requirements. Of course, those who own properties with these desirable aspects are not keen to sell. As well as driving up property prices, this drags up the average speed of a UK property transaction, with chains slowing to a crawl as would-be sellers wait for a suitable property to buy themselves.
Alternative Investment Approaches
As the property boom in the UK shows no clear signs of abating any time soon, many investors are seeking ways to take advantage of the huge returns that are currently possible. As well as flipping houses and investing in buy-to-let, alternative approaches are being sought in order to achieve dividends with the lowest buy-in costs possible.
Property crowdfunding is rising in popularity in both the domestic and commercial sectors, as it is possible to make an investment with as little as €100 (approximately £85 at the time of writing).In some cases, individuals can purchase affordable individual property “tokens” using a blockchain-powered investment model, meaning their investment is secure. What’s more, thanks to the capacity for remote interaction with this field as well as AI-powered opportunity searches, investors can achieve a great deal from home, making this a very pandemic-friendly option.
With overseas travel remaining heavily restricted – and likely to be prohibitively expensive once those restrictions are lifted – “staycationing” has emerged as a burgeoning trend among the British public. Property investors have quickly seen the potential in this growing market, making domestic short-term lets, holiday cottages and Air-Bnbs a more popular investment choice than ever before.
There are always risks inherent in property investment, as the market is easily influenced by external factors such as general economic crashes. This fragility is more present than ever during a boom, so it is important to be aware of this potential volatility before you begin.However, as a result of the recent stamp duty holiday and the ongoing unprecedented lending rates, there is the potential to make a considerable profit in UK property at present as long as sufficient care is taken.