Will the housing market cope without Help to Buy

Fri, 06 Mar 2015

Will the housing market cope without Help to Buy
Lenders are worried about the future of the housing market post 2016, when one of the major government schemes is set to finish.

Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee was the second major phase of the government's push to get the housing market rolling and help people get onto the property ladder. Currently, it is set to finish next year.

The scheme gives people, especially first time buyers, the advantage of not having to pay a large deposit, and the mortgage lenders the security of knowing the government has guaranteed payments should something happen.

Letting this scheme run out with no replacement could push the first time buyer market back down the slippery slope it has been slowly struggling up, according to lenders.

65% of the lenders in the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) have reportedly said that they believe a competition drop would be the result in 2016 when the Mortgage Guarantee scheme runs out.

75% of mortgage brokers in the IMLA also predict this would be the case.

Chief executive of the housing charity Shelter, Campbell Robb, said: "When wages and house prices are so out of sync that first time buyers are having to pay tens of thousands of pounds more for a foot on the ladder, itís a clear sign that our housing market is out of control.

"Without access to a lump sum from the bank of mum and dad, millions of young people and families are facing a lifetime in expensive private renting, or stuck in their childhood bedrooms well into adulthood."

However, the initial Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme was extended until 2020, and the funding for the Scottish Help to Buy scheme was boosted once that run out, so there is a precedent for these schemes to be extended.

But this won't do much to fix the housing market, unless it becomes a permanent fixture. Houses are still far out priced for what first time buyers can afford off their own merit. The market could once again become stagnant again if there is no efficient replacement for the schemes, should they be removed.
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