Demand for flats reduced in the last 18 months or so, as homeworking offered greater flexibility on location with many buyers seeking bigger properties with outside space, instead of living in city centres. There were also some concerns about safety with cladding arising from the Grenfell fire, which influenced lenders’ mortgage decisions.
However, in recent months, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has worked with the Building Societies Association and UK Finance to agree a new industry-wide valuation process, clarifying which building types need an ‘external wall system’ (EWS1) form, proving that flats are safe.
The new guidance will be implemented from 5th April, enabling people to buy/sell and remortgage homes in buildings above 18 metres (6 storeys).
Flats are especially convenient for singles, first time buyers and downsizers wanting the flexibility and social opportunities of town and city living, with accessible public transport. As Lockdown measures are predicted to ease, and workers return to their offices, we will see a revival of that vitality, with pubs, restaurants, shops and theatres reopening.
Currently, there is the added advantage of the Stamp Duty holiday, and the new guidance means that transactions should be processed more quickly.
For advice on funding a purchase, contact our Mortgage Centres.