Chancellor's double shot in the arm for Torbay's housing market

Excited Couple Standing Outside New Home With Sold Sign

Assistance for first-time buyers is always welcome. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

As many people expected, the Chancellor's budget last week delivered two policies for the property market, an extension to the zero-rate stamp duty holiday and the launch of a new Help-to-Buy style mortgage deposit scheme for first time buyers.

The stamp duty holiday for homes under £500,000 in England has been extended to June 30, and after that the threshold will be reduced to £250,000 until September 30 returning to its previous level of £125,000 on October 1.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak also announced in his budget a proposed mortgage guarantee scheme for those able to save a five per cent deposit, starting on April 1.

These announcements will be seen as a double shot in the arm for the housing market and will be very warmly welcomed by homebuyers waiting to complete and currently stuck in the transaction pipeline due to market delays.

Extending the stamp duty holiday until the end of June, then phasing it out until September is intended to prevent large numbers of sales falling through and potentially a sudden downturn in prices caused by the much-feared cliff-edge scenario.

Assistance for first-time buyers is always welcome. They have been hit particularly hard by the lack of mortgage availability during the pandemic and so therefore the Government’s introduction of a 95 per cent loan to value mortgage scheme presents great news for those who are keen to get on the property ladder.

We confidently expect that in addition to reassuring those already progressing their moving plans, the stamp duty extension is likely to motivate many more potential buyers and sellers to come to the market.

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At the moment, the property market in both Torbay and the South West is stronger than initial forecasts suggested and we also expect a strong second and third quarter.

While there is still the opportunity for buyers to move and take advantage of the stamp duty reduction, it’s also important that anyone looking to sell starts the process now to have every hope of completing before the new deadlines.

First-time sellers across Torbay will have a great opportunity to benefit from increased buyer numbers and also save on stamp duty on their next purchase.

If you are thinking of moving anywhere in Torbay, Williams Hedge will be happy to discuss the recent changes, give professional advice or carry out a free market valuation without obligation. Log on to, Email or call 01803 554322.