House prices fell by 0.1% between May and June, according to the latest Halifax house price index. In the latest quarter (April to June) house prices were 0.9% lower than in the preceding three months, but remain 2.5% higher than in June 2019.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is widely expected to announce a six month stamp duty holiday in his 'Summer Economic Update' on Wednesday. The government is rumoured to have drafted up the plans, which could see the stamp duty threshold temporarily raised from £125,000 to between £300,000 and £500,000. First-time buyers are already exempt from stamp duty on homes under £300,000 in the UK and £500,000 in London.
The Conveyancing Association has launched new guidance on how to proceed with housing transactions within ‘local lockdown’ areas. Leicester is the first area in the country to be subject to such a lockdown and the CA has been working with the Government, MHCLG and other industry bodies to provide details on how property chains can proceed there, and in any future areas subject to a localised lockdown due to spikes in Covid-19.
The government has been criticised for it’s "woefully inedequate response" to the issue of tens of thousands of married women receiving the wrong amount of state pension. A research paper published by pension consultants Lane Clark & Peacock suggests that tens of thousands of older women may be entitled to a higher rate of state pension than they are currently receiving.
While mortgage borrowing increased slightly in May, approvals fell back further to a new record low, according to the latest Money and Credit statistics from the Bank of England. Its data shows that the mortgage market "remained weak in May" in comparison to pre-Covid. Mortgage borrowing totalled £1.2 billion, slightly higher than in April but weak compared to an average of £4.1 billion in the six months to February 2020. The Bank says the increase on the month reflected more new borrowing by households, rather than lower repayments.