Help to buy? That’s a personal shopping service for over 60s, isn’t it?

Published: 15/01/2015

Almost half of first time buyers are unaware about the government’s Help to Buy scheme, according to new research. As a result many are still relying on the bank of mum and dad to raise a deposit to buy their own home. Head of Property, Lynne McCaffrey, considers if enough is being done to promote the scheme?

“So apparently when asked “What is the Help to Buy Scheme?” 16 per cent of 18-24 year olds thought it was a ‘face-to-face, personal shopping service by the major supermarkets for over 60s’.

“Whilst not a bad idea – it could be a great way to encourage healthier eating amongst the older generation – it is clearly a concern that one of the primary demographics of the scheme is seemingly oblivious to its existence. In fact it appears that only once you reach over the age of 45 are you aware of Help to Buy and how it can help existing and wannabe homeowners get on the property ladder.

“There’s no denying that Help to Buy and other government backed schemes is contributing to the revival of, particularly, first time buyers within the property market; more than 73,000 homes having been bought under the schemes. However with understanding limited could the scheme be helping even more people buy a home of their own?”

Help to Buy recap

  • Help to Buy originally launched in April 2013 but was only available to people wanting to buy a new-build property
  • In October 2013 Help to Buy 2 launched allowing all buyers to purchase new or older properties with as little a deposit as 5 per cent
  • In order to qualify:
    - Buyers must be purchasing a property for £600,000 or less
    - The property cannot be a shared ownership or shared equity purchase
    - The buyer cannot buy the property and then rent it out
  • There is no limit regarding the buyer’s level of income and you do not need to be a first time buyer

“I think a large chunk of the problem is the presumption that the scheme is for first time buyers only when in truth anyone can benefit from the scheme regardless of income or ownership status.

“But I don’t think it is the sole responsibility of the government to promote the scheme. Lenders and estate agents have a part to play too by educating potential buyers about the scheme and making sure they are aware it is available to them. After all they have a far more direct route into that market.”

If you’re planning on using Help to Buy to purchase a property make sure you appoint an experienced solicitor to handle your conveyancing because the involvement of a third party means these cases are more complex than a typical purchase transaction. An inexperienced solicitor could delay the progress of the case or even scupper it completely.

With over 30 years experience your Help to Buy purchase is in excellent hands with Goldsmith Williams. Click here for a free no obligation quote for our conveyancing services.

Content correct at time of publication

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