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

HEARTS, MINDS AND EQUITY RELEASE

TODAY’S BLOG

EQUITY RELEASE SURGE

A surge in homeowners looking to free up cash from their properties propelled the figure for equity release to £1.05bn in the three months to the end of September, driven by high house prices, gifts to family members and uncertainty induced by the coronavirus pandemic. The value of equity released jumped by nearly one-fifth from £884m in the third quarter of 2020.

While the number of loans taken out was slightly down year on year, the average amount of housing wealth freed up was 23% higher, at £101,593 per borrower. Data published this month by one of the main equity release providers (Key) suggested many borrowers were taking advantage of recent house price gains to help family members climb the housing ladder. “Big-ticket items” such as debt management and gifting were behind nearly two-thirds of the equity released in the third quarter. More than two-fifths (42%) of the cash given to family and friends was used for house deposits.

For homeowners over the age of 55, equity release offers a way of unlocking the value of their properties, whether for home improvements, paying off other debts or to help family members. Interest on the loan is paid through the sale of the house at the end of the term, so unlike a conventional mortgage a borrower is not required to demonstrate a minimum level of income to qualify. Interest rates are higher for these “lifetime mortgages” than for most mainstream mortgages. Interest rates are low by historic terms, but equity release is a not straight-forward.

Hearts, Minds and Equity Release

THE POWER OF COMPOUNDING INTEREST

Equity release is not like a normal mortgage, repaid over a set time. It is generally a loan which is only repaid when the property is sold. Overall, no payments are made, the interest merely compounds. By now you know the miracle of compounding interest – which works wonderfully for your investments and does precisely the opposite for your debt.

The risks you need to consider are future interest rates, the future value of your home and how long you will live or anyone else that you share it with. The earlier you release equity, the bigger your total debt in the end. Admittedly this helps reduce the value of an estate for inheritance tax, but in practice it can simply mean that there is nothing to inherit.

Some of you may remember the significant property crash in the late 1980s. At the time equity release was very popular and many people got caught out by the reduced value in their home and the increasing interest rates. All conspired to create genuine stress and financial hardship for some. There have been reforms, but I would urge caution – a lot of it. This should always be considered in the context of your total financial planning, not simply a desire to help a family member.

We do not provide advice about equity release but can refer you to a specialist. However, you should exercise great caution and have a clear plan and reason about why you want the funds. Interest rates are normally higher than a typical mortgage. The fact that around half of those using equity release are between 65 and 74 does not bode well for those that may live for 2 or 3 decades.

As ever, good financial management starts with good budgeting and a proper plan.

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?

HEARTS, MINDS AND EQUITY RELEASE2023-12-01T12:12:59+00:00
Go to Top