After a tumultuous period for the housing market, 2018 looks set to be a great year for first-time buyers. Each year, new initiatives are launched which help first-timers get their foot on the ladder and start putting their hard-earned earnings towards their futures. Want to know what’s in store for first-time property buyers in 2018? Find out more below.
Help to Buy will continue
The Government’s Help to Buy scheme has helped more than 100,000 people to date to buy their first property. It’s a scheme that helps buyers to buy properties with just a 5% deposit, through issuing a loan worth 20% to the buyer – an amount that is interest-free for the first five years. The scheme has currently been extended to 2020, giving first-time buyers plenty of time to take advantage. Those who want their savings to stretch even further can benefit from the Help to Buy ISA and Lifetime ISA schemes, with which the government will top up savings by up to 25% to help new buyers save their initial deposit.
Stamp duty rules have changed
In November’s budget, the Chancellor announced that first-time buyers would pay no stamp duty on properties worth up £300,000. This could be a significant saving for first-time buyers, helping them to get on the ladder sooner than expected. To find out how much you’ll have to pay, take a look at the stamp duty bands to give you a better idea of how much you’ll need to save. If however, you live in Wales, these new rules will only apply until April when the Welsh Government introduces the Land Transaction Tax to replace stamp duty.
Interest rates will stay low
It’s predicted that interest rates will stay low next year, with a spring increase expected at 0.25%. This will add a minimal amount to tracker mortgages, and analysts do not expect there to be any further rises. The recent rises in inflation look set to continue, however, so times may still feel tough with wages not increasing as quickly. Being smart with your budget can help you guard your income against any unexpected rises.
The number of homes being built will increase
In 2015, the Government pledged to build a million new homes by 2020. This year, a total of 217,000 homes were built, which although it may seem like a high number, is actually the same as the pre-crash figures. It is expected that the government will look to build 300,000 homes this year, helping to meet the growing demand for housing. This could help to keep prices down which is great news for first-time buyers.
With 2018 looking set to be a great year for first-time buyers, it’s a good time to invest in property. If, however, owning your own home isn’t something you’re ready to pursue quite yet then a look at some featured investments for 2018 could give you some alternative investment options. Remember to keep an eye on the latest property news to help you keep up with any changes in 2018.