Global stock markets all performed well in Q1 2019. Even the FTSE 100, which has had to contend with the disastrous, even comical, Brexit negotiations and almost daily votes at Westminster, had a great three months, rising by 8.9%.
However, the PIN Fund performed twice as well as that, rising in value by 16.5% in the first quarter, and when dividend payments are factored in, the Fund returned around 17.9%, which is not too shabby for the 12 weeks prior to Brexit (even if it didn’t eventually happen).
The big winners in our fictional fund of property related shares were the housebuilders, which got a massive boost at the end of 2018 when Philip Hammond announced in his budget that Help to Buy would continue to prop up first-time buyer sales across the UK.
The government has decided to extend the equity loan scheme past 2021 to 2023 but restrict it to first-time buyers purchasing newly built homes during that time. From 2021, there will also be new regional price caps brought in, drastically reducing the maximum value of homes that can be bought with the scheme’s help. These caps have been set at 1.5 times the current forecast regional average first-time buyer price, up to a maximum of £600,000 in London.
However, with Nationwide reporting that property prices fell again in Q1, now down in seven of the last eight quarters and with average prices in the capital now £23,200 cheaper than they were two years ago, (falling to £455,600 at the end of March), the £600,000 maximum cap for London Help to Buy purchases is looking more generous by the day.