In today’s government budget, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced that the current ‘nil-rate-band’ of stamp duty, which runs up to £500,000, will continue until the end of June – and first-time buyers will get a government guarantee on mortgage deposits of just five per cent.
Across the city, estate agents are optimistic that this will encourage even more young people and other first-time buyers to take the plunge and purchase their own home.
Paul Evans, sales director at Pink Street in North End, explained that the initiative has already been paying dividends in Portsmouth
He said: ‘Today’s budget was very good news for the property sector.
‘The market is doing really well at the moment so this only going to enhance that.
‘It has been crazy for the past two months – if anything we need more homes to be built, that’s how high demand has been.
‘The five per cent mortgages really opens up the market to first-time buyers, so extending that will be a major boost for them.’
The team at independent estate agents Chinneck Shaw, in Milton, has seen vigorous sales activity as a result of the Chancellor’s incentive.
Manager Lizzie Burt said: ‘The announcement today will be welcome news for many who are currently in the process of buying and will prompt others, who feared they had missed their chance, to make a move.
‘This will bring more properties to the market, which will be appreciated by everyone.
‘We’ve seen unprecedented demand for properties as a result of the stamp duty holiday and people wanting a lifestyle change as a result of the lockdown.’
Kieran Magee, sales manager at Bernards in North End, added that with the government boosting the demand for first-time buyers, now could also be the time to sell.
He said: ‘We believe that the announced extension to the stamp duty holiday is fantastic news for the property industry.
‘We anticipate it to be a welcome boost to an already particularly buoyant sales market, which was kickstarted by the original holiday announcement.
‘Alongside the stamp duty holiday extension, the announcement of access to government guaranteed 95 per cent lending to home movers should also give the market a more sustained injection.
‘Theoretically, once more lenders are on board with the scheme, this gives those that are struggling to collate funds to meet the current 10 and 15 per cent plus deposit requirements a real chance of getting onto the property ladder.’