By Rachel Colgan
The recent announcement made by London Mayor Sadiq Khan to offer properties up to the value of £350K to London and UK residents for three months prior to being opened-up to the open market, will hopefully make a small difference to those Londoners ready and wanting to get onto the property ladder. This announcement was made in response to research from the Mayors’ office confirming that new new properties in the capital were being sold overseas.
The Mayor has also said he’s determined to take meaningful steps to help Londoners buy affordable houses as soon as possible.
With this support in place and ahead of the First Time Buyer Home Show in Stratford (E15) this weekend, we have put together a few helpful pointers for first time buyers looking to get onto the property ladder.
1. The Mayors Promise: While the start date of this initiative has not yet been confirmed, it is said to be rolling out this summer- so it’s a good time to get all your ducks in a row and be ready to view some properties. Those already living and working in London will have first-priority on that three-month period, so good news if that’s you.
2. Stamp Duty: The big reveal last year was the scrapping of stamp duty for first time buyers up to £300,000, with Londoners being able to receive tax on the first £300,000 of a £500,000 property.
3. Interest Rates: Although there is news that rates are due to rise sooner and sharper than originally expected, they will altogether remain relatively low and are still at unprecedented low levels.
4. Schemes: There are now various schemes available, including London Help to Buy and Shared Ownership. Many of these schemes mean the buyers only need to pay a 5% deposit to buy a newly built home. They help to reduce the upfront costs associated with homeownership and make it possible to keep up with the demands of London house prices.
5. Investment: Buying in London is getting cheaper (seriously!). Home values in the capital fell 1.8 percent in 2017, according to Rightmove, and look set to decrease another 2 percent in 2018. In December, prices fell by 3.7 percent in London and 2.6 percent nationally. Essentially when you buy a property you are investing for your future, and in the long term, as rents continue to rise, it may even be cheaper to buy than to rent.
For those looking to find out more about getting on the property ladder one idea may be to head to the First Time Buyer Home Show in Stratford on Saturday 17th February. The event is free to attend and is a one-stop shop for first timers looking to find out everything they need to buy their own home.
Lynda Clark comments: “There are many olive branches being extended to first time buyers in London at the moment. Those wishing to find out more about the various options available to them now, should come along to the show to find out more.
“With the vast sums required for deposits and increasing house prices, it is not surprising that many first-time buyers think that they won’t ever stand a chance of owning their own four walls. Our show will help inexperienced buyers in this thriving area of Greater London and surrounding counties to get the advice that they need to get onto the property ladder.”
As well as Headline sponsors SiteSales, the popular Home Show will be attended by some biggest names in the property market including supporting sponsors L&Q, Which? Mortgage Advisors, Berkeley Homes, Taylor Wimpey, Help to Buy London, Metropolitan, Southern Home Ownership, Direction Law, Lawcomm Solicitors, Notting Hill Sales, Currell, Redloft, Stepladder, Southern Home Ownership, The Leasehold Advisory Service and www.mortgageshop.com.
For further information and to register for the free event which takes place this weekend at Stratford Town Hall from 10am until 4pm, visit www.ftbhomeshow.com.