Has Help to Buy been a hindrance?
The feel-good factor after the 2012 London Olympics masked the fact that the UK was still reeling from the global financial crisis. Wage growth was non-existent and the number of people buying homes plummeted to half the usual level.
House prices across most of the country were flat or in decline, and the construction industry depleted as skilled workers changed trade. A big-name housebuilder teetered on the brink.
The following April the Government stepped in with its flagship housing policy, Help to Buy.
The shared equity scheme has courted criticism, often accused of inflating property prices and lining the pockets of housebuilders.
But five years on, could we have done without it? veal that the scheme has helped a total of 117,000 first-time buyers get a foot on the property ladder up to September 2017.
For Kayne Cross and Charlotte Lyndall it’s a manageable price to pay. They have just moved into their first home in Waterside at Monksmoor Park, near Daventry, Northamptonshire. The couple purchased a four-bedroom house for £319,500 using Help to Buy and put down a five per cent deposit.
“We had been living in a shared ownership home in Rugby, but found the rent and mortgage charges together were too high,” says Cross, 28.
The machine operator spotted the Crest Nicholson development when it was under construction, attracted by the high-pitched roofs, white render and greyframed windows.
“The Help to Buy scheme was a huge help to us and made owning our own home possible,” he adds.
Prices start from £259,000 for a three-bedroom house and the site is surrounded by countryside. Crest Nicholson’s Monksmoor Park estate sits alongside the Grand Canal with Daventry Country Park to the south.