A study* by Linden Homes which surveyed 4,000 people across the UK has revealed that despite being available for two years, the majority of the UK still does not understand the Government’s Help to Buy scheme.
The study conducted by award winning housebuilder, Linden Homes asked 2,000 current homeowners and 2,000 first-time buyers for their thoughts on the scheme.
The research found that 60 per cent of homeowners believed they did not qualify for the scheme, whilst 61 per cent of first-time buyers believed the scheme is only available to first-time buyers. A further 12 per cent of first-time buyers stated that they did not understand the scheme.
Help to Buy, which was launched back in April 2013, applies to a range of potential purchasers including first-time and next-time buyers on properties up to the value of £600,000. Buyers are required to provide just a 5 per cent deposit to then borrow a further 20 per cent from the Government in the form of an equity loan. Buyers then only need a 75 per cent mortgage agreed by their bank or building society to secure their home.
When asked if they would use the scheme to purchase their next home, the majority of current homeowners (47 per cent) said they would not consider using Help to Buy, just a quarter (24 per cent) said they would and 29 per cent said they were unsure.
When the homeowners were asked why they did not want to use the Help to Buy scheme to purchase their next home, the top three reasons given were that they did not think the scheme applied to them (54 per cent), they did not believe they needed the scheme to buy a property (34 per cent) and that they wanted to wholly own their property (30 per cent).
First time buyers Billy and Lucy Czunys were living in a rented one bedroom cottage in Penryn and were desperate to have a home of their own with their dog Memphis. The couple managed to buy a new three bedroom terraced house at Linden Homes’ Home @ Heartlands development in Redruth using the Help to Buy scheme. Commenting on the move, Billy said: “We needed a 5% deposit, which was manageable and our monthly mortgage payments are affordable, which was very important to us as we didn’t want to stretch ourselves too far.
“It’s about £100 a month cheaper for us to buy our house than to rent another three bedroom house in Redruth, which just amazes me. We’re saving money, reducing our energy bills and investing in our future by getting on the housing ladder - it’s been one of the best moves we’ve ever made.” Billy and Lucy will need the extra space as they have now welcomed baby Erica into the world.
Nigel Palmer, managing director at Linden Homes South West commented: “Despite a concerted effort to raise awareness of Help to Buy by the Government and those in the industry, people still do not have a grasp of this scheme and who it applies to.
“The scheme which has helped 42 per cent of our homebuyers alone is perfect for those looking to get on the property ladder or make that step up to their next home. We see many instances of people being perfectly able to afford monthly repayments however; the challenge is getting the money together for the all-important deposit. Help to Buy has a proven track record to specifically help those wanting to buy their first or next home.”
Linden Homes has developments from Cornwall to Northumberland offering incentives to help get people moving. For more information on Help to Buy visit http://www.lindenhomes.co.uk/offers-incentives/help-to-buy/.
* Study conducted by OnePoll in February 2015 surveyed 2,000 first-time buyers and 2,000 homeowners.
Media can contact Emma Mackay on 01626 356666 for more information, images and interviews with Linden Homes.
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