Barriers to homeownership fall
Barriers to getting on the housing ladder fell from September to December 2015 with the announcement of Help to BuyLondon and a doubling of the housing budget to over £2bn per year from 2018.
The Building Societies Association’s Property Tracker found that 52% of potential buyers saw raising a deposit as the biggest barrier, down from 59% in September.
Over the period access to mortgage finance dropped from 41% in September to 38% in December, while the affordability of monthly mortgage repayments fell from 35% to 33%. A quarter (26%) saw job security as the biggest barrier, down from 28%.
The Chancellor’s joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review announced the launch of Help to Buy London – offering buyers in the capital a 40% equity loan.
Paul Broadhead, BSA head of mortgage policy, said: “This snapshot of sentiment in the housing market shows that consumers are feeling reasonably optimistic about getting on or moving up the property ladder.
“Awareness of government schemes, such as Help to Buy and the new Help to Buy, London plus the availability of higher loan-to-value mortgages helps to bring choice and competition to the market. Housing generally needs to remain a top priority for the Government.”
“Now is the time to focus on building more homes, supported by appropriate investment in infrastructure, in order to begin to address the long term imbalance of housing supply with demand.
“Innovative mortgage products and intermediate forms of tenure must also be championed – not just by building societies – but by all lenders, the regulators and government. This will go some way to delivering a sustainable housing market which caters to the needs of a wide range of credit worthy consumers, not just those with ‘vanilla’ borrowing requirements.”