Alistair Darling will give his first Budget speech at 12.30 p.m. today. The Chancellor has not had a happy tenure so far since taking over from Gordon Brown. The collapse of Northern Rock has inevitably led to huge amounts of criticism and Mr Darling now faces some very tough market conditions.
So what might we see from the Chancellor today regarding mortgages?
Long term fixed rates – these have been a pet topic for Darling but the discussion dates back years to the Miles Review. They still haven’t taken off despite a wider choice and so it is difficult to know what announcement could change that. Nonetheless we could see them feature once again.
Market Conditions – there has been talk of the introduction of a ‘Gold Standard’ that would be created and applied to the least risky mortgage backed securities. This is intended to help free up funding for lenders and aid liquidity which has dried up as a consequence of the credit crunch and led to more expensive mortgages and tighter criteria.
Green Homes – this Budget is tipped to carry a distinctly green tinge and property will often feature with breaks for zero carbon properties featuring in previous Budgets.
Homebuy Scheme – a regular feature in recent Budgets has been the targeting of funds at helping first time buyers grab a foothold in the market. This has often been aimed at Key Workers and could be due a makeover.
Stamp duty – this often comes up in wish lists with pundits calling for an overhaul of this creeping tax. Although there has been some minor concession to first time buyers in recent times there is also speculation that there could be an even higher banding put in place.
We will be keeping a close watch today to see exactly what might affect London and Country customers and UK borrowers in general.