On the 3rd March 2021, Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his annual budget in the House of Commons (#Budget2021). He opened by saying he would do “whatever it takes” during and after the pandemic, in a bid to fix public finances and set out plans for the future.
For the Housing sector, there were some major announcements in his statement, including a three-month extension on the stamp duty holiday and a mortgage guarantee to help first time buyers access 95% mortgages.
Both these points are a positive step in the right direction as we start to rebuild the economy after the pandemic. By encouraging and facilitating the buying and selling of homes, the property market will be sustained at a time when it will undoubtedly play a vital role in the growth of the economy in the aftermath of Covid-19, and the worst economic crisis the country has seen in years.
Following the announcement, we are likely to see first time buyers take the first steps to getting on the property ladder and older generations in larger homes making the decision to downsize when previously they have chosen to stay in larger homes due to the costs associated with moving home.
This issue was considered by Professor Les Mayhew of the Cass Business School in February 2019 in his report ‘The Last-Time Buyer: housing and finance for an aging society’. He argued that the Housing Policy needed to focus on “last-time buyers” if we were to solve the Housing Crisis, by incentivising them to downsize and make larger homes available for the next generation.
In his report, Professor Les Mayhew identified that the financial implications of downsizing, were discouraging an older generation from moving out of home that were too big for their needs. There was also a lack of suitable, smaller properties suitable for an older generation with additional and possible future needs. In many cases, bigger houses are often more accessible, which tends to meet the needs of the elderly and reduce the need for them to move.
In our previous article, ‘Accessibility of English Homes’, we discussed the urgent need for accessible and adapted homes, as there is a growing concern that there are not enough accessible home available for the older generation and those living with disabilities.
At France + Associates, we understand the importance of individuals and families being able to live in a home that allows them to live as independently as possible. We also appreciate how time consuming and difficult it can be to find a home that is already suitable and accessible, or that can be adapted to a client’s requirements; including it having the right “look” and “location”.
Our team are experienced in searching for and identifying development potential in homes that others may miss, and even during lockdown we have continued to find properties for our clients. Only last week, we had an offer accepted on a property that we will be able to extend and adapt for a client with a spinal cord injury having already considered 50+ properties during our search.
Hopefully, with the latest announcements, we are going to see an increase in properties available on the market that would be suitable for adaptation.
Thankfully, we have been able to continue offering our property finding service, even during the lockdowns over the last 12 months as it is commonly carried out remotely, until a time when a visit is required. Any property specific decisions can be made on any prospective visits, and during restrictions we have been undertaking video conferences of prospective properties, which has allowed us to continue to the next stage of the process without any disruption.
If you need to find a property for yourself or a client that could become a safe, practical, and accessible home, contact us for a confidential chat on 01484 960560 or email@example.com.
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