If you're in the process of buying a home, then chances are you'll have been nervously waiting on Chancellor Rishi Sunak's every word last Wednesday to find out if the stamp duty holiday was being extended. In the end it turned out the leaks were true. The Chancellor extended the stamp duty holiday by three months . This matters because over 300,000 people were said to be stuck waiting for their home purchases to go through before the end of March. If the extension hadn't happened, then they could have been out of pocket. In fact, the stamp duty holiday was extended to the end of June, with further reduced discounts available to the end of September for people living in England and Northern Ireland. This has led to loads of readers contacting me to ask if this is a good time to buy a property. House prices are unpredictable at best – and for every optimist there's a pessimist with a different view. Here’s an overview so if you’re thinking about making a move, you have all … [Read more...] about Is the stamp duty holiday the right time to buy a house? Pros and cons explained
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Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered hope to millions of house buyers today as he announced a stamp duty holiday extension alongside new 95% mortgages for buyers. The new mortgage guarantee scheme, first confirmed last week, will help raise home ownership numbers from April, the Chancellor said. Sunak confirmed the news in the Commons earlier amid a record low in 95% mortgages. Right now, there are just eight products on the market, with banks pulling the 'risky' loans since the start of the pandemic. But there are already fears that the new scheme - designed primarily to help first-time buyers get onto the ladder - will lead to a surge in demand and rising house prices, putting properties further out of reach for many. "This is a policy that gives people who can't afford a big deposit the chance to buy their own home," Sunak told MPs. "As the prime minister has said, we want to turn generation rent into generation buy. "Lenders who provide mortgages to homebuyers who can only … [Read more...] about Budget 2021: Return of 95% mortgages confirmed – but fears raised of ‘hidden cost’
THE state pension is a regular payment most people claim when they reach a certain age in later life. It's different to your workplace or a private pension , with the time you can apply for it depending on when you were born. In May 2014, the government changed how the state pension system works , with the goal of making it simpler. In order to get a state pension you need to pay National Insurance contributions (NICs), and have built up a minimum number of years' worth. How much is the state pension? Men born on or after April 6, 1951, or women born on or after April 6, 1953, will be able to claim the new state pension. For those who reached the state pension age before April 6, 2016, you’ll be getting the old state pension, known as the basic state pension. The full new state pension is £175.20 per week , while the previous full basic state pension was £134.25 per week. If you've accrued NICs under both the old and new pensions, you'll receive a state … [Read more...] about How much is my state pension and what age can I claim it?