A Suffolk-based mortgage expert has praised Help to Buy for helping hundreds of people to afford their own home as the initiative reaches its final stages.
Jason Blunden, managing director of Ipswich-based Evolve Financial Solutions, has been working with buyers at Linden Homes’ developments across the East of England, and said the Government scheme, which is due to end on 31 March next year, had also provided a much-needed boost to the housing market and the wider economy as a whole.
Linden Homes has sold hundreds of new home via Help to Buy across the region and still has properties available which qualify for the scheme.
Help to Buy was set up to enable purchasers to secure a new-build home with just a five per cent deposit and a 75 per cent mortgage – the remaining 20 per cent being provided in the form of an equity loan from the Government, which is interest free for the first five years of homeownership. The current version of the scheme is only open to first-time buyers, with a regional price cap in the East of England set at £407,400.
Jason Blunden said: “What Help to Buy has meant is that mortgage lenders have been able to lend to people who would not normally have been able to afford to buy their own home. This has allowed hundreds of first-time buyers, many of them young people and growing families, to take the precious first steps onto the property ladder. This represents the dream for many families, a dream that has been realised by the availability of Help to Buy.
“The 20 per cent equity loan from the Government means that first-time buyers only have to find a five per cent deposit to effectively secure a 75 per cent mortgage. This deal lowers the deposit that has to be found and reduces the monthly mortgage payments customers have to meet, thereby bringing homeownership within the reach of more and more buyers.
“I have personally worked with many first-time buyers who have secured a home with Linden Homes Eastern and were delighted after fearing they would be stuck paying rent all their lives because they could not raise a big enough deposit or be able to afford the monthly mortgage payments. We know that the Help to Buy scheme is coming to an end in 2023 and are now seeing lenders coming to market with 95 per cent mortgages for new-build houses instead.
“Help to Buy has been the best thing to happen to the construction industry and mortgage lenders for a long time. The continuation of the scheme gave the industry a real shot in the arm when it most needed it as the country struggled to get started again following the coronavirus lockdowns.
“We hope that the momentum in the housing market that has been generated by the Help to Buy scheme does not slow down. The bigger picture is that a buoyant housing market does not just benefit the mortgage lenders and the housebuilders as all these new homes need to be decorated, carpeted and furnished which in turn provides jobs for people in a host of ancillary industries.”
Jason Colmer, sales and marketing director at Vistry Eastern, said: “Help to Buy still represents an incredible opportunity for first-time buyers to secure a new-build home and to get themselves into the property market.
“We have many properties, built under the Linden Homes and Bovis Homes brands, which are available to reserve and are below the Help to Buy regional price cap of £407,400 in the East of England. Our trained sales teams are waiting to take calls to explain how people can still take advantage of the initiative.”
There are new homes that qualify for the scheme and are available to reserve at All Angels Park in Highfields Caldecote, near Cambridge, and Finches Park in Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, as well as at Suffolk developments Cavendish View and Grange Park in Thurston and Oak Farm Meadow in Stowupland.
For more information, visit lindenhomes.co.uk.
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