The UK housing market has experienced an unexpected resurgence since confinement rules were lifted earlier this summer, with the government’s announcement of a stamp duty holiday in July spurring rising house prices and new buyers re-entering the market after seven weeks of mandatory quarantine. But while Chancellor Rishi Sunak may be patting himself on the back for a job well done, the reality is that this “mini boom” is nothing more than a mirage.
The government’s emergency measures – like the eviction moratorium and unemployment support – will soon lapse or shrink, even though the virus is nowhere near conquered and a second wave is already sweeping across Europe. With the moratorium set to expire this week, there could soon be a homelessness and housing crisis on the horizon, while the end of the government’s furlough and self-employment grant schemes may mean that it will be nigh-on impossible for countless Britons to haul themselves back up off the looming cliff edge.
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