Help to Buy scheme attracts over 15,000 expressions of interest in first ten days

Posted: 21/2/2016

Help to Buy Scheme

A government scheme aimed at helping first-time buyers in London on to the housing ladder has had over 15,000 expressions of interest since it went live on February 1.

The London Help to Buy scheme offers those with a 5% deposit access to an interest-free loan worth up to 40% of the value of a new-build home costing up to £600,000.

Buyers then only need a mortgage of up to 55% to cover the rest.

However, housing expert Henry Pryor said the scheme was immoral because of the risk of negative equity.

He said: “Most people taking up the government’s offer have no first-hand experience of negative equity. You need to be over 35 to have lived through a property recession in the capital.

“They are scary things and although you will be sharing the pain with government, the State will want its money back before you get yours.”

JLL’s head of residential research Adam Challis said: “I am concerned that Government’s narrow focus on first-time buyer support overlooks the hundreds of thousands that join the private rented sector each year, or the millions on housing waiting lists.

“Help to Buy only addresses a very narrow band of genuine housing need and represents a distraction from the bigger housing supply crisis in this country.”

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