Help to Buy off to flying start

Sam Cordon

June 6, 2013

There are now more than 400 builders across the country registered for the scheme which has seen around 500 people a week signing up.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman at the Home Builders Federation, said: “The equity loan part of Help to Buy has got off to a flying start. It has been an unqualified success so far and 4000 reservations in just two months shows both the consumer demand for the scheme and developers’ commitment to it.”

Baseley said the large deposits required in recent years to secure a mortgage have prevented many from buying and as a result builders from building whereas the scheme helps consumers overcome that barrier.

He said the federation has already seen companies revise their projected build levels as a direct result of the scheme which in turn will create jobs and deliver an economic boost.

House building levels in England are currently around half (115,000 per annum) those needed to meet the formation of new households. Last year 88,000 private for sale homes were built last year.

Since 2007 output has dipped to levels not seen since the 1920s with the resultant social and economic implications. But with effective measures now in place to support demand and consumer interest increasing the industry is confident supply can be increased.

Mark Clare, chief executive of Barratt, said: “Customer interest in the Help to Buy scheme has been very strong as it addresses the issue of a lack mortgage finance at higher loan to values. Interest has been particularly encouraging from customers previously locked out of the market by high deposit requirements.”

Clare said after the budget announcement reservations stepped up to 18% and visits to the Barratt website increased by around 30%.

He added: “Our production will rise to meet higher levels of demand and it’s likely that our completions this year will be up 20% on two years ago.

“We are investing in land and bringing it through planning too and we are also expanding the business by taking on 600 new apprentices and graduates to tackle the skills shortage that could constrain future growth.”

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