Tue 04 Nov 2014 View all news articles

Help to buy 'boosting property sales among first time buyers'

Help to Buy schemes in the UK are attracting strong support, according to new findings.

Official figures showed that the initiatives have created over 54,000 homeowners in England with over 39,000 households buying new built properties through the equity loan and NewBuy options.

Around 15,000 households buy properties through the mortgage guarantee.

Housing minister Brandon Lewis announced that the majority of sales went to first time buyers, and created thousands of new property owners, due to the government-run scheme.

At the same time, house building has climbed to its highest level since 2007, while construction output has seen the sharpest expansion for eight months.

Commenting on the findings, Mr Lewis said: "The figures clearly demonstrate the continuing success of the Help to Buy in supporting creditworthy, hardworking people who want to buy a home of their own. Over 54,000 new homeowners have now used the schemes as a valuable alternative to the Bank of Mum and Dad, enabling them to buy with a fraction of the deposit they would normally require."

Surge in first time buyers

Separate figures published by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) appeared to support these findings and showed that there has been a surge of house hunters - particularly first time buyers.

Overall, first time buyers account for 30 per cent of all sales recorded in September, compared to 28 per cent in August and 20 per cent in July.

Mark Hayward, managing director of the NAEA, said: "September is a notoriously busy month in the housing market. The kids have gone back to school after the summer and people want to get sorted before Christmas, however it seems a lack of affordable and quality housing has been a problem this month. Now that the economy is picking up and Brits are in more comfortable financial situations, more people will want to buy and sell homes, but may be restricted."

In September its members reported an average of 405 house hunters per branch, the highest since October 2004.

Furthermore, 82 per cent of homes sold for less than the original asking price, meaning that first time buyers are obtaining better deals on their property purchases.

However, the figures also showed that although the number of available housing increased slightly from last month, from 49 houses available in August to 51 in September, this figure is seasonally low for September.

Research published by Move with Us showed that the average asking prices in the UK residential market stabilised in the third quarter of 2014 after nine months of consistent growth, with prices rising by just 0.85 per cent in the quarter.

In Greater London in particular, property costs were subdued in the first half of the year.  

Source: First Rung Now

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