The ASC Blog

Focus on Property Development: Does Help to Buy actually help?

Published 19/09/2013 08:30:00

In a prior blog post, we touched on how more support is still needed for local property developers, despite claims our economy is “turning a corner”.

This need is as imperative as ever, with the government continuing to press on with its controversial Help to Buy mortgage scheme. The plan, whose first phase is already in action, allows first-time buyers to put down a deposit of just 5% on homes with a maximum value of £600,000. They are then able to take an equity loan from the government of up to 20%.

Whilst this scheme has thus far succeeded in stimulating lending – there was a 30% rise in loans to first time buyers in June; serious questions are being raised over its feasibility.  Amid rapidly rising house prices, one major concern is that this scheme forsakes future prospects for short-term growth; the next generation of first-time buyers are at risk of being priced out of homes.

Help to Buy will only continue to push prices further and further out of reach –the real problem, as outlined in our previous piece, is due to the limited supply of homes. If anything, the government should be refocusing their efforts on encouraging local builders, in order to ensure an increased stock of affordable housing. By prioritising property development, the market growth will be better supported, rather than the backward hope that just market movement will eventually right the ship.

What do you think about the Help to Buy plan and the long term prospects of housing?

What do you think the Government should be doing to help property developers and the lack of housing stock?

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