The UK housing market is enjoying a period of surprising fortitude and demand despite the Covid-19 pandemic with prices in October 2020 being 7.5% up on the previous year.
Many experts, however, have been going to great lengths to warn us that this healthy market is temporary and that, come Spring 2021, things might be looking much less promising.
Their argument states that this booming market is purely a result of the stamp duty holiday and that, when it comes to an end in March 2021, the market will be exposed as being far more fragile than we are currently acknowledging.
As a result, many are urging the government to extend the stamp duty holiday beyond Spring in order to help the market stay strong, but others would argue that this acts only to postpone the inevitable market slump rather than avoid it entirely.
Lenders aren’t concerned
With a global pandemic, an incoming economic recession, and Brexit on the horizon, one would forgive lenders for being unseasonably tight fisted due to the absurd levels of uncertainty currently engulfing the UK.
But the opposite seems to be happening – the lenders are feeling optimistic, confident, and generous. From the 8th December, Nationwide will be offering 90% home loans to home movers and first-time buyers. They are also pledging to allow ‘fully-gifted’ deposits which they have previously refused to accept.
All of this suggests that lenders do not fear recession in the slightest. They want to keep supporting struggling borrowers both new and existing. It is hoped that this support will help the country avoid the devastating forced sales that has historically led to market collapses.
For those of us who have long struggled to afford stepping onto the housing ladder, 90% loans are nothing but good news. Suddenly, the housing market is more accessible than it has been for many years.