Long-term stimulus is needed to bring the housing market fully to life, and avoid short-term peaks and troughs, according to Robert Burdett, managing director of James Leigh property Management.
Burdett believes that the stamp duty holiday is an unprecedented and very welcome shot in the arm for the housing market when it was desperately needed.
However, he said: “But with lockdown now easing and COVID-19 firmly in retreat, now is the perfect opportunity to be looking at how the housing market can be built on firmer foundations than it has previously enjoyed.
Long-term strategic thinking is needed
“The introduction of the 95% mortgage is a welcome move for first-time buyers, but more needs to be done to ensure the whole market can enjoy a stable future.”
Lending criteria currently prevent some buyers from accessing mortgage finance because on paper their income is not high enough to meet the lender’s criteria for income, even though they may be paying more in rent than they would be for a mortgage.
Data released by Estate Agency firm Keller Williams show the changing pattern of where people want to live, and the outdoors features strongly in the research.
Burdett said: “The research published by Keller Williams shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people are thinking about the homes they want to buy.
“Working from home in particular means that people are not as reliant on access to the cities, and so can buy where they want to live rather than where they need to access work.”
Support for the housing market for the long term could include a continuation of the Help to Buy scheme and reform to the mortgage industry so that affordability reflects current household expenditure.
Burdett added: “In the end, the housing market needs measures in place that will flatten the bumps in the road and create a sustainable future market.
“If the stamp duty holiday has taught us anything, it’s that short terms measures whilst useful at the time, do nothing for longer-term stability and growth.”