Holiday let products have grown rapidly in popularity over the past year as tax benefits and a staycation boom in combination with lockdown savings have tipped would-be investors into action.
The pandemic has affected the commercial mortgage market far more than other mortgage markets, particularly in sectors such as hospitality. As a result, lenders became more cautious with their criteria, such as lower LTVs or declining applications from certain sectors.
The pandemic has highlighted the cumbersome and slow process often found in the mortgage market. As a result, it has been great to see advisers and mortgage lenders adopt innovations such as electronic ID and desktop valuations to improve this.
However, with the stamp duty deadlines, the services from solicitors have been impacted. This spotlight has shown up some of the slow and archaic procedures in the legal part of the transaction.
It’s lockdown day 365 – and I still can’t quite get my head around the fact that we’ve been living through this pandemic for a whole year. In March 2020, our worlds were turned upside down by the arrival of Covid-19: a virus that, at the time, we knew so little about, forcing us to stay at home and protect lives.
We asked people who are looking to buy, or have recently bought their first home about their experiences of the process. Our latest First Time Buyer Index surveyed 1,000 prospective first-time buyers and 250 buyers who had bought their first home since March 2020.
It seems like yesterday we were discussing last year’s burgeoning holiday lets market and now we’re experiencing the same trends for 2021. Deterred by the thought of quarantine hotels, country restrictions and the likelihood of catching the coronavirus itself, Brits are once again preparing for a summer of staycations.
As we head towards the anniversary of the first lockdown it’s hard to escape the ongoing social and economic impact of Covid-19. From a commercial perspective you only have to step outside to see real life examples. The empty, non-viable retail units now lining our high streets are a case in point.
From 1st April, the existing Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme (2013-2021) will be replaced with the new Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme (2021-2023) and will only be available to first-time buyers purchasing a new build property. Also on that date, regional property price caps will be introduced, with each area of the country having a maximum property value that will be eligible for the scheme.
Despite on-going uncertainty as we continue to navigate the challenges of the pandemic, brokers remain optimistic when looking at the year ahead. Over two thirds (67%) of commercial brokers said they were confident about the UK lending environment this year, whilst 60% state they felt confident about the growth of their business.
With New Year resolutions made, many in the UK will be looking ahead having firmly shut the door on 2020. Despite a particularly difficult year generally, and with our current lockdown status in force; on a social and an economic level, those serving the mortgage industry can still look to the future with optimism.