Govern­ment’s help­ing hand proves pop­u­lar with buy­ers

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Vic­to­ria Trem­lin

NEW-BUILD home sales are ris­ing across York­shire as as­pir­ing home­own­ers take ad­van­tage of the Govern­ment’s new Help to Buy scheme.

Help to Buy, which launched on April 1 this year, aims to give buy­ers a much-needed leg up on the prop­erty lad­der by of­fer­ing a 20 per cent eq­uity loan on the value of a new prop­erty, which means that only a five per cent de­posit is needed.

Help to Buy re­places the pre­vi­ous FirstBuy scheme, which of­fered a 10 per cent eq­uity loan from the Govern­ment, with the other 10 per cent con­trib­uted by the hous­ing de­vel­oper. It is hoped that the scheme will give de­vel­op­ers a help­ing hand, boost the con­struc­tion of new homes and help peo­ple who can’t af­ford a large de­posit and mort­gage.

York­shire’s gov­ern­men­tas­signed Help to Buy agent, my4walls, has pro­cessed 292 Help to Buy ap­pli­ca­tions in the eight weeks since the scheme launched.

Head of my4walls Sally Lynch says: “We’re see­ing a huge surge of in­ter­est in Help to Buy and fig­ures are up from the ini­tial FirstBuy scheme. It’s great to see more peo­ple tak­ing their first step on the prop­erty lad­der.”

The scheme is not just for first­timers. It is open to all buy­ers of new-build homes as long as the prop­erty is not worth more than £600,000. The house must be your only prop­erty. Ex­ist­ing home­own­ers must be look­ing to sell their cur­rent prop­erty with the in­ten­tion of liv­ing in the new home.

Gra­ham Ep­ton, 25, a fi­nan­cial an­a­lyst from Hal­i­fax and his part­ner Sian McKir­gan, 25, a spe­cial needs sup­port as­sis­tant, are York­shire’s first cou­ple to move into a new home with Help to Buy. Af­ter sav­ing a £7,500 de­posit they se­cured a £112,000 mort­gage. Thanks to a 20 per cent govern­ment loan they were able to buy a new £150,000 Redrow home at Wheat­ley Chase, Hal­i­fax.

“We’d ini­tially ruled out a new-build due to the price. Faced with a 10 per cent de­posit on an older house, plus all the fees that come with it, we found it too hard to pay rent, bills and save for a de­posit. We made the de­ci­sion to move back with our par­ents un­til we got a de­posit to­gether,” says Gra­ham.

“It was dif­fi­cult. We saved ev­ery penny and haven’t had much of a so­cial life over the past year,” says Sian.

The scheme helped the cou­ple into a home of their own sooner than they’d an­tic­i­pated. They were also able to buy a slightly big­ger prop­erty.

“We can stay here for longer rather than hav­ing to move in a cou­ple of years when we want to start a fam­ily,” says Sian.

My4walls is now see­ing more de­vel­op­ers of­fer­ing Help to Buy. Patsy Aicken, sales di­rec­tor for Redrow Homes, York­shire, says: “We have had a bril­liant re­sponse across the re­gion to the in­tro­duc­tion of Help to Buy and seen an up­surge in the num­ber of en­quiries from would-be home own­ers. It goes to show that peo­ple recog­nise that the Govern­ment is of­fer­ing a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity to buy a brand new home at an af­ford­able price.”

If you’re in­ter­ested in the scheme my4walls ad­vise that you re­search new de­vel­op­ments of­fer­ing the scheme or visit their web­site for a com­pre­hen­sive list of de­vel­op­ments in York­shire that of­fer the in­cen­tive.

Once a prop­erty has caught your at­ten­tion, con­tact a fi­nan­cial ad­viser to dis­cuss mort­gage pos­si­bil­i­ties. If suc­cess­ful you can then re­serve the prop­erty. Your de­vel­oper will send your ap­pli­ca­tion to my4walls, who will let your know if it’s been ap­proved.

“We saw the prop­erty on a Thurs­day night, viewed it on the Fri­day and re­served it on the Sun­day. It all came to­gether in just four days,” says Gra­ham. “The Help to Buy scheme was a breeze. From sign­ing to mov­ing, we seemed to sail through it. And we’re plan­ning to get mar­ried in 2015 so we’re sav­ing for that now,” adds Sian.

For more in­for­ma­tion or ad­vice on Help to Buy visit www. or call 0113 0113 825 6888.

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