Fewer people now looking to buy a home in the UK
At the end of March, the government brought an end to the two year stamp duty holiday which had seen hundreds of thousands of Brits make savings on their home purchase by not having to pay an extra one per cent of the value of their home. However, it was warned at the time by many experts that this could lead to a decrease in the number of people buying properties for sale.
And it has been announced this month by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) that its latest figures have discovered that April, following a rush for mortgage products throughout March to beat the holiday deadline, had seen a 19 per cent reduction in gross mortgage lending.
How much was this down to the end of the stamp duty holiday though, or are there also other issues causing the number of people confident enough to buy to fall again?
According to Sue Hopson, brand standards director at Martin & Co, the fact that mortgage rates are remaining high for a number of people has meant that they simply do not want to buy because they just cannot afford to pay the monthly cost of their loans and feel uncertain about their job prospects.
However, another expert said the fact that the carrot of the stamp duty has been removed from the equation means that there are now more people who will avoid buying because of the saving, and will instead wait for the perfect mortgage for them.
"It is not too surprising simply because of the end of the stamp duty holiday. I think lots of people were working to save up a deposit and have decided that is now sensible to hold off until they find the exact property that they want or the exact mortgage that they want.
"It is not surprising that there was a big drop compared to March because March was a very busy month comparatively," said Ben Wilkie, editor at What Mortgage.
First-time buyers are always going to be the group which is most adversely affected by any change in financial issues however, as they need to be fully confident when they buy, and it could be the case that Britain's falling back into a double-dip recession has meant that fewer people will now be trying to buy and waiting until they have more money and a better level of confidence surrounding their jobs.
It is also the case that many banks are re-adopting older conditions for lending, which means that more people are not physically able to get mortgages.
Paul Holmes, chief executive officer at Firstrung, said: "Gone are the days when brokers would have a proposal, fire it off to the underwriting department of a bank, building society or spurious lender and it would be underwritten within minutes. Now they really are going through the fine detail and looking at how much debt people have. They are looking in far more detail as to their payment profiles, what their job security is and how long they have been in their job."
Posted at 05:03 29/06/2012