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Housing market started the year strong due to Stamp Duty rush

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The housing market has surpassed all expectations with a record first quarter of the year, fuelled by the race to complete before the end of the tax holiday
Housing market started the year strong due to Stamp Duty rush

House purchase lending surged in the first quarter of this year, according to UK Finance, following the rush of applications submitted ahead of the original Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday deadline.

The trade body for banks said that homemover activity was particularly strong, with many homeowners ‘using their substantial existing equity stakes to move to larger properties away from city centres in response to changing working and living patterns’.

Eric Leenders, managing director, personal finance, at UK Finance, said: “Since the housing market emerged from its shutdown last spring, we have seen a remarkable recovery in demand, which continued through Q1 2021.

“Existing homeowners have taken advantage of the stamp duty concessions, with changing working and living patterns encouraging more to use their existing equity, either to move further afield or to
fund further housing purchases for themselves or family.”

Scott Clay, distribution development manager at specialist lender Together, added: “With hopeful buyers taking the initiative to submit their mortgage applications early ahead of the original end date of the Stamp Duty holiday, it’s clear to see where the surge in activity has stemmed from.

“And it shows no sign of slowing down. Despite the second national lockdown in Q1 this year, prospective buyers and sellers continued to flood the market – looking to snap up properties further afield and in keeping with their remote working needs.

“Indeed, while home mover activity has been exceptionally strong everywhere, UK Finance’s data shows the strongest growth rates were in the Southeast of England, where volumes rose 110% compared with a year ago, and the other Southern regions of England.”

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