IMLA: Government should think long-term with Help to Buy

Michael Lloyd

October 30, 2018

The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) has urged the government to look at the long-term future of the Help to Buy scheme after a two year extension was granted to March 2023.

As well as extending the scheme, in his Autumn Budget Chancellor Philip Hammondrestricted it to first-time buyers only and dropped the £600,000 cap, replacing it with a price cap depending on where you live.

These have been set at 1.5 times the current average first-time buyer price forecast in each region and range from £186,000 in the northeast to £600,000 in London.

Kate Davies, executive director, IMLA, said: “The scheme, which has clearly become a key feature of the new build market and a crucial helping hand for many prospective homeowners despite being intended as a temporary measure, will be 10 years old by 2023.

“This is the second time in as many Budgets that the scheme has been extended, so the government should now be looking ahead to the long-term future of the Help to Buy scheme – and what, if anything, will replace it past 2023.

“An important part of this will be consulting with the industry over the most suitable solutions, so an extension of two years should go some way in ensuring there is enough time to confirm and deliver an approach that will produce the results needed to enable house construction and mortgage lending to continue smoothly for the foreseeable future.”

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