George Osborne has announced a 3% increase in stamp duty for buy-to-let properties and second homes from April next year. Speaking during the Autumn Statement, he said that corporate property development would not be affected, and that the billion pounds raised by the increase would go towards building 400,000 new homes as part of the government's 'affordable housing' plan. Speaking, Osborne said that "more and more homes are being bought as buy-to-lets or second homes", and that many of them are cash purchases that aren’t affected by the restrictions introduced in the Budget on mortgage interest relief.
Half of homebuyers would welcome a return to 100% loan-to-value mortgages to jump the hurdle of not being able to save a big enough deposit to purchase a home, according to research. The survey of 2,000 people found that half of those who plan to buy a home within the next two years are in favour of a relaxation of the lending criteria including 100% LTV mortgages. Buyers of all ages want to see lenders offer zero-deposit mortgages again, with those aged 25-34 most keen.
Almost half of first time buyers (45%) claim they will not open a Help to Buy ISA, despite a potential bonus of up to £6,000 per couple. The research shows that one of the biggest barriers to entry is that savers cannot pay into a Help to Buy ISA and a standard cash ISA in the same tax year. Almost a third (32%) claim they’ve already invested in a cash ISA this year and say this is the reason they won’t open a Help to Buy account. Equally, 29% are put off by the terms and conditions which include strong stipulations around how the money is withdrawn and spent. Other reasons for not getting a Help to Buy ISA include: 28% want to save a larger amount of money in a cash or investment ISA, 25% feel it takes too long to earn the bonus and 26% do not want to be tied into a Government scheme. A further one in five (19%) feel the Government aren’t pledging enough to help and 13% don’t trust the Government to pay the bonus. More than one in ten (11%) have concerns that the value of the property you can buy with the money saved in a Help to Buy ISA does not increase year on year, this could be a huge problem with house prices currently in ‘acceleration’ mode. 55% of those surveyed do plan to take out a Help to Buy ISA and 50% rightly believe the 25% bonus is better than the interest you could earn on a normal cash ISA.
Industry data for the first 6 months of the pension freedoms, and calculated that the number of people who have not shopped around for their annuity will collectively miss out on £104m of income over the course of retirement.
Research into consumer demand for retirement borrowing has identified "important knowledge gaps" in terms of understanding what consumers want and need in terms of products, as well as about how they make decisions about their retirement income and assets, and the advice they use (or would regard as valuable and trustworthy). The Council says that both the industry and the government need to gain more insight on these aspects to develop a lending market for older borrowers that offers attractive products that genuinely meet consumer needs as well as mitigating lending risk.