Help to Buy extension discussions welcomed

Ryan Fowler

April 15, 2020

Reports that the government is in talks to extend the Help to Buy scheme to help boost the building sector have been welcomed by the industry. 

According to The Times the government is currently considering an extension as one of a number of measures aimed at kickstarting the building industry after the COVID-19 crisis recedes.

Craig McKinlay, new business director at Kensington Mortgages, said: “A potential extension of the Help to Buy scheme makes complete sense at this time.

“Builder and consumer confidence could struggle post-lockdown and this will certainly boost both.

“Construction jobs are not just vital to the housing market, but our economy too, and maintaining these is crucial to keep it running and helping us recover. In our current world of uncertainty, any certainty is extremely welcome.”

McKinlay’s sentiments were echoed by Ashley Ilsen, chief executive officer at Magnet Capital.

Ilsen said: “The impact of the lockdown on both the building sector and wider property market are clear to see. We’ve seen numerous large scale developers down tools due to fears around cashflow.

“Indeed, recent estimates from Savills claim that almost 200,000 homes could be constructed on the sites which are at a standstill so there is a pressing need for action.

“The government has acted quickly to provide support to other vital sectors of the economy. It’s reassuring that the housebuilding industry is not being overlooked.

“A quick announcement from the government would do a great deal to allay the fears of some developers in these difficult times.”

Andrew Hosford, managing director of Pure Structured Finance, added that whilst the scheme had seen some difficulties over the years the move was one which should be welcomed.

He said: “Help to Buy has not existed without controversy and criticism and many have warned that the market has become too reliant on the scheme.

“However, in these exceptional times, the scheme can act as a kickstart to the market following the current crisis.

“The housing market is a key driver of the UK economy and government intervention is both warranted and welcomed.”

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