The Covid pandemic caused wide disruption in the housing market and the number of mortgage deals fell dramatically between March 2020 to the beginning of July. Sales and viewings ground to a virtual standstill when the housing market was effectively halted under lockdown. The UK’s biggest building society, Nationwide, restricted its first time buyer mortgages in June 2020, over growing concerns over falling house prices.
Amid signs that the housing market is now beginning to recover, the Nationwide’s minimum amount of deposit required from first time buyers will be lowered from 15% to 10% from 20th July 2020. The new mortgages will only be available for buyers of homes that are at least two years old and for a maximum term of 25 years.
The online Rightmove property site has seen record demand for property since the market returned and the recent activity has been further buoyed since the announcement of a stamp duty holiday.
The Nationwide estimates that the UK’s house prices were just 0.1% lower in June than the same month last year, and represented the first annual house price fall since December 2012.
If you’re thinking of buying property, whether you’re a first time buyer or more seasoned homebuyer, ask a Chartered Surveyor for a building survey. The survey could save you thousands of pounds of unsuspected bills if problems are subsequently found in the property.