The housing market in Northern Ireland has defied expectations despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Whilst there have been many struggles, those who have kept their jobs or been placed on the Furlough Scheme have been able to save more due to the limited spending options.

Thus far, the housing market has not been a casualty, rather, it has been a leader of the economic recovery.

Furthermore, the recent announcement adds further impetus to the housing industry from government polices such as the ‘Stamp duty holiday’ and the ‘Mortgage guarantee scheme’.

Stamp Duty Holiday

The stamp duty holiday was introduced last July meaning purchasers in Northern Ireland do not have to pay tax on properties valued up to £500,000. Additionally, first time buyers were exempt to the value of £300,000.

The chancellor recently announced an extension to the tax holiday until the end of June and an additional three-month extension to end of September, for property values up to £250,000.

Since last Summer house prices have accelerated to over 5% from around 2% in Northern Ireland.

Mortgage guarantee scheme

In addition to the stamp duty holiday, the chancellor moved to announce a ‘Mortgage guarantee scheme’ to support buyers with low deposits to get onto the housing ladder. 

As the government seek to change ‘Generation Rent’ into ‘Generation Buy’, buyers may be eligible for a mortgage with a deposit as low as 5%. The government will guarantee loans to encourage and reassure lenders. Many big lenders are already supporting the scheme.

Given Northern Ireland is the most affordable region in the UK, its here that could have the biggest uptake of the scheme.