It's here to help
Thu 31 Oct 2013
The new phase of Help to Buy has already sparked a flurry of interest, and experts say it will inject a much-needed "Shot of adrenalin" into the housing market.
The first lenders to offer mortgages under the scheme - Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), NatWest, Halifax and Bank of Scotland - have all reported a strong customer apetite with 5% deposits.
The initiative is open to first-time buyers as well as home movers who may have seen the amount of equity in their home shrink as house prices dropped following the financial crisis.
There is also a first glimpse of what the typical Help to Buy customer looks like. The RBS says the average profile of its applicants so fa is aged 32 and looking for a joint mortgage to buy a home.
The initiative is still in its early stages, but already, many people are hoping the scheme will play a crucial role in their house purchase plans. Help to Buy has become a "major" cause of increased confidence as consumers become more optimistic about buying a home.
Some 10% of consumers surveyed by Santander, equatingto 5.1 million people across the UK, believe they are likely to buy a home in the next year, up from 8% when similar research was carried out in 2012.
One third (33%) of these people, which could equal around 1.7 million consumers, said they would turn to Help to Buy for help.
Younger people were found to be the most likely to be intending to buy, with 18% of 18 to 34 year olds saying they plan to purchase a home in the next 12 months.
Peter Rollings, CEO of London-based estate agent Marsh & Parsons, says the new phase of Help to Buy will be "like a shot of adrenalin" for the market.
The scheme could also sharply reduce the deposit that people taking their first step on the property ladder will need.
According to the Coucil of Mortgage Lenders (CML), typical first-time buyers still needed a deposit of 19% in August, before the scheme bagan.
The CML has estimated that only around one third of first-time buyers got onto the housing ladder under their own steam last year, without help from sources like the "bank of mum and dad".
Before the credit crunch, aound two-thirds of first-time buyers were getting on the property ladder without family and friends.
Research from property website Zoopla found that the low deposit of requirements of the scheme meant that those using it will be able to get on the housing ladder with a deposit of less than 10,000 in six out of 10 areas across English and Wales. These are the North East, The North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, the West Midlands, the East Midlands and Wales.
Based on the current housing market, Zoopla.co.uk estimated the tyoical size of a 5% deposit needed across the country would be just over 11,000