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Budget answers housebuilder’s call for more targeted Help to Buy scheme

Changes made to the Help to Buy scheme in yesterday’s Budget have answered housebuilder Bellway’s call for the scheme to be more targeted towards helping first-time buyers.

The Chancellor announced yesterday that when the current Help to Buy equity loan scheme ends in March 2021, a new version will be launched just for first-time buyers and will run for two years until March 2023.

Help to Buy currently allows both first-time buyers and those with a home to sell to buy a new-build home up to the value of £600,000. They need just a five per cent deposit and a 75 per cent mortgage, with the remaining 20 per cent provided in the form of an equity loan from the Government, which is interest free for the first five years of homeownership.

Prices for the new scheme will be capped at 1.5 times the current forecast average first-time buyer price in each region, with a maximum of £600,000 set in London and a cap of £261,900 in the East Midlands.

Bellway’s Chief Executive Jason Honeyman called earlier this month for the scheme to be streamlined to focus on those who needed it most.

Carolyne Watkinson, Sales Director for Bellway East Midlands, which is based in Leicester, said:

“We welcome this news from the Budget, which will target support towards people taking their first step on the housing ladder who might otherwise be unable to afford their own place.

“Help to Buy has made the dream of home ownership possible for so many buyers and we are pleased to see this new streamlined version continuing for another two years to ensure more first-time buyers are given support when they need it.

“We’re also pleased to see investment in infrastructure and support for apprenticeships, which are both key issues for the house-building industry.”

Just under four out of ten (39 per cent) of Bellway customers nationally used Help to Buy during the last financial year, with 67 per cent of those being first-time buyers.

Bellway East Midlands is building new homes across Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Lincolnshire, with more information available at bellway.co.uk.

Photo caption: Carolyne Watkinson, Sales Director for Bellway East Midlands


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