HELPING FIRST TIME BUYERS

TODAY’S BLOG

HELPING FIRST TIME BUYERS

You may be aware that buying your first home is and has been fairly difficult, largely due to the inflated price of property and incomes that simply do not keep up at the same rate. Successive Governments have attempted to address this problem with initiatives, including adjusting stamp duty, capital gains tax and providing a type of ISA which has +25% tax relief as a bonus if used for a deposit on a property. This began with the Help to Buy ISA in 2015 to be replaced by the Lifetime ISA or LISA (the tinkering seems endless and neurotic). The Help to Buy ISA is only available to those who opened one before December 2019 and will cease completely from December 2029.

I won’t go into all the detail here about the differences and appropriateness, suffice to say that a LISA has a £4,000 tax year contribution cap of the standard £20,000 allowance.

HMRC’s latest quarterly statistics on Help to Buy ISAs have been released. These cover the period from 1 December 2015 to 31 December 2021.

The statistics show that since the launch of the Help to Buy ISA, 480,494 property completions have been supported by the scheme and 630,264 bonuses have been paid through the scheme (totalling £714 million) with an average bonus value of £1,132. It may not surprise you to learn that 2021 saw the highest number of purchases to date.

The table below shows the number of property completions supported by the scheme broken down by property value:

The highest number of property completions with the support of the scheme is in the North West (13%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (10%), with the lowest numbers in the North East, Northern Ireland and Wales. London buyers accounted for 8% of all completions but with a much higher average price of £330,661 – double the price paid in most of the UK.

The statistics also show:

  • The mean value of a property purchased through the scheme is £175,849 compared to an average first-time buyer house price of £228,627 and a national average house price of £274,712.
  • 65.3% of first-time buyers who have been supported by the scheme were between the ages of 25 to 34.
  • The median age of a first-time buyer in the scheme is 28 compared to a national first-time buyer median age of 30.

It would be unfair to suggest that the scheme isn’t working that well, but in practice taxpayer money is funding private property purchases, which are predominantly helping those living in areas of already cheap (by comparison) homes. Personally I am not convinced by the system. It does very little to really control the problem of soaring property prices, if anything it may add to it …

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

HELPING FIRST TIME BUYERS2023-12-01T12:12:46+00:00

GETTING ON THE PROPERTY LADDER

TODAY’S BLOG

GETTING YOUR FOOT ON (AND OFF) THE PROPERTY LADDER…

Despite various Government initiatives – the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme; stamp duty land tax relief; reduced deposit requirements etc – getting on the property ladder still proves to be a difficult task for the majority of young adults in the UK; and can feel almost unattainable for some.

This sometimes means that couples move in together (often prematurely) and/or live with parents for longer in order to start saving for a house deposit. There are a variety of things that can be done to help build a deposit for first time buyers under the age of 40, but the truth is that this is very marginal. In spite of what some celebratory estate agents may suggest, cutting back on trips to Starbucks is a drop in the ocean when we see property prices galloping off into the distance and out of range of anyone earning less than £80,000. Yes, rates are low, mortgage terms are longer, but often the bank of Mum and Dad or an inheritance has to save the day!

In this country, our laws generally protect the landlord as opposed to the tenant, making buying all the more desirable; yet it is almost out of reach for millennials.  The average age of first time buyers in the UK is now 34 years old which is an alarming statistic (it’s 37 if you live in London).

You know that buying a house is of course an investment, but it also represents so much more than that – a home, a stable environment, your sanctuary. Most of us would also concede that we have done relatively little to increase the value of our homes, most of the rise has been due to the demand, which is fuelled by a lack of housing stock. Most of us have actually been quite lucky rather than particularly savvy about property.

At Solomon’s, we work towards enabling our clients to achieve financial freedom. Usually that means paying off your mortgage long before you retire.  A huge milestone for anyone … effectively liberating your salary and giving you the opportunity to spend your hard-earned income on other things.

We aren’t only about helping you to invest your money (although this is obviously a large part of what we do) – on many occasions, Dominic has had to tell clients that they have reached a point where they can start spending it! (You might be surprised to hear that people are sometimes reluctant to do this; having been shackled by mortgage payments for so many years).

It is not that we are giving clients permission to spend their money (such permission is not ours to give or withhold!), rather it’s simply about reminding them of their autonomy and the power to make ‘informed choices’.

We have been told many times in the past that one of the things clients like about our service is the guidance and ‘reassurance’ we provide.  And this is indeed one of the most enjoyable parts of what we do – financial freedom is our main aim for clients and we derive great pleasure from seeing this happen.

Abigail Liddicott
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GETTING ON THE PROPERTY LADDER2023-12-01T12:12:55+00:00

ENGINEERING THE FIGURES

TODAY’S BLOG

ENGINEERING THE FIGURES

There are many good things about social media, but I do get fed up with some of the narratives thrown around that, in my opinion, casually have an agenda. One topic that often gathers some traction is that of the property market. Most of us discuss the ludicrous price of buying a home at some time, some make much of their skill to invest in property, which is often rather more to do with luck than skill. However I have become very tired of the media holding out examples of some young people who got onto the property ladder and in so doing imply that others only have themselves to blame for their inability to do so.

DISTILLING THE TRUTH

I came across a couple of examples in the last few days. One involved a 28-year old whose father bought him a bottle of 18-year old Macallan whisky on the day of his birth and then every birthday thereafter. The headline suggested that this enabled Matthew Robinson to buy his first home. The virtues of foresight by his father and personal resistance of temptation netting the result of £40,000 worth of whisky. It’s a lovely idea and nothing wrong with it at all as a gift. I have some questions though.

UK Property

IN GOOD SPIRITS

Firstly, the whisky has not actually been sold yet and no home has been purchased. This deposit was not actually the hard work of Matthew but of his father. The only thing Matthew has done is follow his fathers instructions not to consume it. I wonder how it was stored, I suspect that the 28 bottles have not followed Matthew away to University or any other place he may have lived, they probably remained at his parents home (I am guessing). As a gift it’s a lovely one, as an investment…. Well, there are obvious risks – which no proper investment portfolio would have – concentrated risk and the past, current and future risk of total wipe out. I could literally destroy a portfolio of whisky in minutes. I could not do the same for any investment portfolio.

ROOM WITH A VIEW – TUNNEL VISION VIA BOX

Then there was the case of Jessica Leung who at 29 managed to buy a property worth £450,000 in Bristol, right opposite IBK Brunel’s the SS Great Britain. This, the headlines suggest was done by moving home to save rent and cancelling her gym membership. It turns out that Jessica was able to put down a £90,000 deposit, pay stamp duty and raise a mortgage of £360,000 on her own salary. It turns out that 30% of the deposit was from her father (£27,000) and “family savings” of £53,000 together with her own £10,000 make £90,000. In fact, Jessica had saved £10,000 not really £90,000. An engineering of “I saved the deposit” feat that Mr Brunel might marvel at. Given that she would likely require an income of £90,000 to borrow £360,000 then to be blunt she might have saved rather more.

Do not misunderstand me. I am not berating Matthew or Jessica or indeed their parents. To my mind these stories have rather more to do with making other young people feel inadequate and relieving the sense of guilt (we did absolutely nothing to benefit from property price rises)  that the rest of us have from time to time, when we recognise how hard it is. The truth is that the parents were instrumental in raising the deposits in both instances. These sorts of mixed messages are rife – a few months ago young people were chastised for buying lunch at Pret, now they are being told to do so in order to keep it open. The messages are all to do with supporting those in power who clearly have a lot vested in maintaining the property-owning class precisely as it is.

Rather obviously I work with clients to help them become financially independent and many parents want to help their children as these did. However, pretending that because some can that it is just a matter of personal disciplined saving by the young adult is utter twaddle. I expect nothing to change.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

ENGINEERING THE FIGURES2023-12-01T12:13:14+00:00
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