Wed 22 Nov 2017 by Frances Traynor
The government is to invest an extra £10 billion in the Help to Buy Scheme, with an extra 135,000 expected to get on to the housing ladder. Help to Buy, launched in 2013, allows buyers, many of them first-timers, to put down a deposit of as little as 5 percent to buy newbuild homes.
There are several separate elements to the Help to Buy, including Shared Ownership, Equity Loan and ISA with the London schemes having different financial criteria.
Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed that funding, already guaranteed until 2021, would now continue. Similar schemes in Wales and Scotland have now ended.
According to the Home Builders Federation (HBF), more than 220,000 people have bought a newbuild home under Help to Buy. Its report, entitled Stepping Up, shows that Help to Buy finances one in every 12 first-time buyer, and it claims that the scheme is helping house builders "buck the generally slower wider housing market".
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The HBF report also says Help to Buy has helped sustain 170,000 jobs across England. It identifies the areas with the most Help to Buy completions as Wiltshire, central Bedfordshire, Leeds, Wakefield and County Durham.
Critics of the scheme say it increases demand in the housing market without increasing supply. Polly Neate, chief executive of the homeless charity Shelter, described the extension of the scheme as "the wrong priority" and said it "propped up a speculative development model in need of reform".
Demand for the finance is, however, undeniable. The HBF revealed that planning permission for 321,982 new homes was granted in the year to June across England, the highest figure since 2006, fuelled by enquiries from buyers taking advantage of Help to Buy.
If you're looking to purchase a home through one of the Help to Buy schemes, call Homeward Legal now to find a solicitor who can lead you through the buying process quickly and efficiently. With our no-move, no-fee guarantee, you won't be lose out if, for any reason, your transaction doesn't complete. And with no hidden extras in the fees you will pay, you can put your money to better use elsewhere.
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