Is your home your castle?
Property transactions have increased by 25% in the first half of the year, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders and a new survey has revealed that Brits have very differing views about the merits of their own home.
Only 7% of Brits considered selling or buying a home as a priority in 2014, with one in six saying their home is "really amazing and filled with the best stuff", suggesting they are very happy with their existing homes, research from Standard Life has revealed.
More people saw home improvements as more of a financial priority (18%) than a family holiday (17%), buying a new car (7%) or saving money into a pension (5%). And more than a quarter of homeowners described their home as "the best they can do at the moment", which suggests they are generally satisfied with their home but feel they could do better in the future. In contrast, more than one in five Brits views their home as just "a roof over their head".
However, some people are considering moving, with one in 10 saying they were planning on saving towards a deposit on their new home – this rose to 22% among 18- to 24-year olds. And 16% of Brits have already helped their adult children to get on the property ladder.
One in 10 Brits considers their home as an investment, with this rising to one in five in those aged 55 and above.
Pride and joy
Julie Hutchison, family finance expert at Standard Life, commented: "Our research shows that the way people view their home differs substantially. For some, it is just a roof over their head, while for others it is their pride and joy. Many also acknowledge they would like to have a better home but are doing their best with what they have. But no matter how people feel about their home, it is still a financial priority for many, whether saving for a deposit or to make home improvements.
"The key for anybody saving for their home is to make their money grow as best it can. That means choosing savings accounts with the best interest rates and saving or investing tax efficiently by making the most of the new Isa, too."
Invidivual Savings Accounts were introduced on 6 April 1999 to replace personal equity plans (PEPs) and tax-exempt special savings accounts (TESSAs) with one plan that covered both stockmarket and savings products, the returns from which are tax-exempt. The ISA is not in itself an investment product. Rather, it’s a tax-free “wrapper” in which you place investments and savings up to a specified annual allowance where the returns (capital growth, dividends, interest) are tax-exempt (you don’t have to declare ISAs and their contents on your tax return). However, any dividends are taxed within the investment, and that can’t be reclaimed.