2016: The Year of the First-Time Buyer

15 December 2015

2016: The Year of the First-Time Buyer

As 2015 draws to a close we often reflect on the year past and look to the New Year and the excitement it can bring. 2015 was a very exciting year for my partner and I as, after years of scrimping, saving and agonising over rising house prices, we managed to buy our first home. 

Over the coming months I will be writing a series of blogs to help first-time buyers - whether you are just beginning to think about it, have saved up your deposit or are already buying a property. 

So, why do I think 2016 is the year of the first-time buyer?


The Help-to-Buy ISA – way back in March 2015 it was announced in the Budget that the Government would support FTB’s through this scheme. In short you can save up to £200 per month and George Osborne and co. will give you 25% on top of that - up to £3,000 absolutely free in your deposit when you buy a house. Money Saving Expert have a very helpful overview on their website https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/savings/help-to-buy-ISA


Help-to-Buy – You can potentially buy a house with just a 5% deposit. With the average terraced house in West Sussex costing just short of £265,000 (Rightmove https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices-in-West-Sussex.html) that is still a lot of money to save up but it means you can set your savings target a lot lower.


Changes in Stamp Duty – from April 2016, buy-to-let and second home owners will be forced to pay an extra 3% stamp duty surcharge on property purchases. Good news for first-time buyers because starter homes and small houses often provide the best opportunities for landlords and holiday homeowners. The surcharge should begin to level the playing field for first-time buyers.


New Homes – demand for house building continues to grow. New homes are a great option for first-time buyers as developers often offer incentives (see below). You’ll also get the added comfort of a long-term guarantee, meaning you can avoid the DIY altogether and just head straight to the furniture shop. Check out the selection of developments our New Homes department has available here (https://www.henryadams.co.uk/new-homes)


Developer’s Incentives – some building companies and developers offer contributions towards stamp duty, conveyancing fees and other costs involved with buying a house. Should you qualify, shared equity opportunities are also available; you could buy a 40% share in a house and pay a subsidised rent to the developer on the remaining 60%. You can still combine shared equity with Help-to-Buy and other mortgage products.


If you’re thinking of buying a house next year or you have a family member who needs some help then please contact your local Henry Adams branch or tweet me - @JackTompkinsHA.


In my next blog I’ll look at how you can get saving for that deposit with some helpful tips along the way.

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