The latest Halifax House Price Index reports that house prices have fallen for the fourth month in a row. However, there has been a surge in new mortgage enquiries.
Mary-Anne Bowring, group managing director at Ringley and creator of automated lettings platform, PlanetRent, said: “Today’s figures show potential green shoots of recovery with rising mortgage enquiries although it is clear lockdown and prolonged uncertainty are still having their effect and with no clear route out the pandemic yet, the for-sale market is likely to be subdued as buyers and sellers act cautiously and put off major financial decisions.
“This is why government policies aimed at restimulating the housing market need to look beyond first-time buyers and existing owner-occupiers and tap into new sources of demand like buy to let landlords by scrapping the stamp duty surcharge they face.
“With only the private sector predicted to keep on growing and the disruption caused by Coronavirus likely to cause a short-term spike in rental demand, the government could kill two birds with one stone by driving activity and meeting a growing housing need.
“Landlords are also an important source of development finance for housebuilders through off-plan sales and so cutting SDLT for buy to let investors could help housebuilding recover too.”
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