Chancellor’s summer economic update – details

Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced a range of measures to try and kick-start the economy.

The big story is a cut in VAT for the hospitality sector from 20% to 5% and this will apply to eat-in or hot takeaway food from restaurants, cafes and pubs, accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites, attractions like cinemas, theme parks and zoos. 

He also announced a temporary stamp duty holiday until January 2021 to stimulate the property market. This would exempt the first £500,000 of all property sales from the tax. 

The government will pay businesses a £1,000 bonus for every staff member that is kept on for three months when the furlough scheme ends in October. To qualify, the employee must be paid at least £520 on average, in each month from November to the end of January.

New schemes were announced to boost employment and training opportunities for 16 – 24 year olds.  This includes a ‘Kick Start’ scheme to assist those at risk of long term unemployment by funding six-month work placements to those on universal credit. Further support will be provided to young people in England: funding of £1,000 for each new work experience place; for apprenticeships – funding of £2,000 for each new apprentice aged under 25, and £1,500 for each new apprentice aged 25 and over, from 1st August 2020 to 31st January 2021. The apprenticeship payments will be in addition to the existing £1,000 funding that is provided for young apprentices.

There was also a scheme announced that will be launched in August to give 50% off to people dining out.  The scheme will mean 50% off meals eaten at any registered business between Monday to Wednesday in August, up to a maximum discount of £10 per head (including children).

Chancellor splashes another £30b

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak pledged an additional GBP 30 billion to support employment, on top of the GBP 133 billion in coronavirus measures he has already unveiled. The money includes over GBP 5 billion in accelerated infrastructure spending, about GBP 9 billion for employers to retain workers through the end of January, funds for home insulation, and help for homebuyers and for hospitality firms.

BoE reduces rate

The Bank of England has announced an emergency unscheduled 0.5% cut in the bank rate.
The interest rate cut is part of a series of a comprehensive and timely package of measures to help UK businesses and households bridge across the economic disruption that is likely to be associated with Covid-19.

UK House Prices

UK house prices fell by 0.1 per cent last month taking growth over the year to only 0.9 per cent, according to the latest monthly survey of the property market by Halifax. The slowdown means that prices rose at their slowest annualised rate this year and the cost of an average house this month stands at £232,249, the Halifax said.

Tesco has pulled out of the mortgage market

Tesco has pulled out of the mortgage market amid a price war among lenders that has pushed down rates for borrowers and piled pressure on smaller providers. The 23,000 mortgage customers of the supermarket’s banking business will not see any immediate change to existing arrangements.

Interest-only Mortgages

Yorkshire Building Society has become the latest big name to launch an interest-only mortgage. If you have a reasonable deposit saved up please give us a call.

Interest-only mortgages were once common but virtually disappeared after the financial crisis, amid fears that many borrowers were not setting aside enough money to repay their debt. Borrowers do not repay any capital during the course of the loan, so when their mortgage term ends they need to pay back their equity.

Under new lending criteria, borrowers have to show lenders that they have a repayment strategy in place.

There were twice as many interest-only products on the market earlier this month as there were six years ago, according to Moneyfacts.

House price growth slows

Annual house price growth has slumped to 1.7 per cent in January 2019 – the lowest rate since 2013. The latest House Price Index from the Office for National Statistics showed the average UK house price was £228,000 in January 2019, an increase of 1.7 per cent over the year, but down from the 2.2 per cent annual growth in December 2018.

100% LTV Mortgages are back

Lloyds Bank has launched a 100 per cent loan-to-value mortgage linked to a savings account to help first-time buyers get a foot on the property ladder.

The Lend a Hand mortgage was launched following research by the bank that found buying a home was among the top life goals for millennials, but half of those surveyed said the deposit was the biggest obstacle.

Lloyd’s latest launch removes the need for a deposit from the first-time buyer and instead up to 10 per cent of the loan is provided by the savings of a family member.

The mortgage is a three-year fixed with a rate starting at 2.99 per cent. The maximum term for the product is 30 years, and Lloyds will only lend up to a maximum of £50,000.

Alongside the mortgage is a savings account offering 2.5 per cent, fixed for three-years.