Following the government’s budget announcement which included an
extension to the stamp duty holiday and a new 95% mortgage guarantee
scheme, property experts have outlined the ways in which young
professionals and downsizers can take advantage of these incentives in
the housing market.

 From extended deadlines, to new opportunities to buy earlier, experts
from selling agent FHP Living [1], and joint developers Monk Estates [2]
and Harmony Bridge of The Waterside Apartments [3] – a 121-home iconic
waterfront complex on the banks of the River Trent – share intel on what
these new initiatives mean for different buyers.

The deadline for the stamp duty holiday is now 30 June, offering
homebuyers the chance to avoid paying stamp duty land tax on properties
up to the value of £500,000, presenting a considerable potential
saving. After the 30 June deadline, the stamp duty holiday will apply to
properties up to the value of £250,000 until the end of September.

Fortunately for prospective homebuyers, this unlocks more opportunities
in terms of the scale and types of properties available. A two-bedroom
apartment at The Waterside Apartments, for example, with floor to
ceiling height windows, a Juliet balcony and sweeping views across the
river and Nottingham city centre’s skyline is £390,000, and without
the stamp duty holiday, buyers would normally need to be pay £4,500
stamp duty tax on this property.

Young professionals, first time buyers and those looking to downsize to
a new property can also take advantage of the 95% mortgage scheme, which
is due to start from April 2021.

Over the past year, the majority of lenders stopped offering 95%
mortgages due to economic uncertainty, and as part of the government’s
efforts to bolster the property market following lockdown restrictions,
the new 95% scheme allows prospective homebuyers with smaller deposits,
the chance to access a range of mortgages that vanished during the

To facilitate the scheme in the long term, the government has stepped in
to cover some of the risk, by guaranteeing the remaining portion of the
mortgage over 80% to the lender, should a new homeowner fail to pay
their mortgage. This acts as a safety net to lenders – encouraging
them to start offering low-deposit mortgages once again, with many major
banks also saying that they will come on board, giving buyers a wider
range of deals to choose from.

It means that professionals looking to buy a home close to the city, or
downsizers wanting to move to a smaller property only have to put down a
5% deposit, going up to a 9% maximum deposit, on the home of their
choice. For a one-bedroom property at The Waterside Apartments, situated
within walking distance of Nottingham city centre and the sought-after
location of West Bridgford – at a price of £220,000, only an £11,000
deposit would be required.

This is good news for those on the hunt for a new home, as the scheme is
open to everyone – not just first timers – on properties that are
going to be the buyers’ main residence (i.e. not to let out), up to
the value of £600,000.

Director at FHP Living and selling agent for The Waterside Apartments,
Steve Parker, said: “The stamp duty holiday extension has been met
with great optimism and relief from the property industry and would-be
buyers – it allows those on the hunt for a new home, more time to
progress with their searches and transactions, presenting the
opportunity to make considerable savings in the process.

“That, plus the introduction of the 95% mortgage guarantee scheme from
April, has opened up the property market to anyone looking to get on the
housing ladder for the first time, or for anyone who wants to move to a
new home that is more suited to their current lifestyles following

“As a leading estate agent, we are proud to market a number of
high-quality residential developments in the Nottingham area, as new
homes are continually being built, including The Waterside Apartments,
which offer buyers excellent opportunities to save across a range of
price brackets.”

Sam Monk, director at Monk Estates, said: “Following an incredibly
challenging year for many industries, businesses and the general public,
these initiatives will go a long way in keeping the property market
buoyant and consistent – supporting the UK economy as a whole and
encouraging anyone considering their next property move to take the
plunge with these fantastic incentives.

“The Waterside is now fully complete and the uptake and response from
buyers and residents has been phenomenal. Prices start from £215,000,
and we still have 28 apartments remaining, so we encourage interested
buyers to come and take a look at the luxury properties on offer, for a
taste of the waterside lifestyle.”