Many homebuyers received an early and unexpected Christmas present when the Chancellor announced his reforms to stamp duty last month. But who will be the real winners? Is it simply homebuyers?
Will retailers gobble up these ‘extra’ savings via the January sales as buyers upgrade existing appliance, gadget and furniture budgets? Could it be sellers, at certain house price levels, who view this as an opportunity to increase asking prices? Are estate agents rubbing their hands together at the thought of even more business coming their way? Or maybe it will be the intermediary market through increased demand and even more emphasis being placed on the advice process.
The answer is possibly all the above, at least to some degree.
The stamp duty changes were a huge boost for the general housing and mortgage markets but they also underline the fact that homebuyers need to seek the right advice on how to obtain the maximum value from any additional savings. And the intermediary market remains in prime position throughout this advice process.
Many lenders have reacted accordingly to the reforms. At Barclays, we are waiving our £150 product-switching fee for pipeline transactions substituting products between now and 31 January.
If you have clients in the homebuying chain, consider revisiting their mortgage arrangements. Reducing the amount could lead to big longer-term savings and ensure they remain clients for years to come.