Given heightened demand - particularly amongst first time home buyers - and wide-reaching changes to the Help-to-Buy Equity Loan Scheme, 2019 continues to deliver growth in uptake in the UK.
Help-to-Buy is an equity loan scheme whereby the government provides financial assistance worth 20 per cent of the value of a home to first-time buyers. However, first-time buyers must be eligible for a mortgage to secure financial assistance under Help-to-Buy scheme. Introduced in 2013, the scheme is designed to support deposit-deficient buyers in procuring mortgages. According to the National Audit Office, the scheme has increased mortgage availability markedly. By December 2018, the scheme supported 211,000 household property purchases. By March 2021, the Government expects this to rise to 352,000 households. By March 2023, Homes England estimates 462,000 property purchases enabled.
Approximately, 61% of first-time buyers using the scheme bought their homes with a 5% deposit (December 2018), This has been a key trend underpinning the shift in the proportion of first-time buyers across the housing market - from under 30% in 2003/04, to circa half of the total market in 2019. Revision of the scheme has also contributed to greater uptake. There is no stamp duty for first-time buyers on properties worth up to £300,000. Whilst on properties costing up to £500,000, they pay the tax only on £200,000.
Further, as of August 2019, the Government made it easier to take out 35-year mortgages; this, in addition to having extended the scheme past 2021 to 2023, indicates sustained market demand for properties in the medium-long term.
Many developers are now focusing on schemes meant for first-time buyers in the UK. Lu2on in Luton by Strawberry Star Homes is ideal for first-time buyers considering the scheme’s distance to Central London. Besides, Lu2on offers London lifestyle apartments and amenities at prices achievable to first-time buyers and London-based commuting professionals.
Over the period since the launch of the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme, 221,405 properties were bought with an equity loan.