Government’s helping hand proves popular with buyers
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. my4walls.co.uk or call 0113 0113 825 6888.