WaGCG : Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group (WaGCG)

Column 17th April 2019

Is it really so helpful to get a home with Help to Buy offer?

A recent email from one of our readers really made us think about the “Help to Buy Scheme”.

She was looking to move in this area and found a new build on one of the current developments at a price of £304,995.

It was a three bedroom semi-detached house with a kitchen/diner and separate lounge, an en-suite to bedroom one, a family bathroom, a downstairs W.C and a garage with space for two cars parked in tandem in front. The kitchen included a double oven, dishwasher, washing machine and fridge/freezer.

Then she received an email advertising a three bedroom home on the same development available through the “Help to Buy Scheme”.

This home was advertised at a full price of £305,000 (£5 more than the home she was thinking of buying), or a 40% share at £122,000.

It was a three bedroom house attached to the car-port of the house next door with a lounge/diner with separate kitchen, family bathroom, a downstairs W.C and two parking spaces. The kitchen included an oven, hob and extractor.

So no en-suite to bedroom one, no garage and a lounge/diner instead of kitchen/ diner. No mention of dishwasher, washing machine or fridge/ freezer.

As our reader said “I am utterly appalled that as far as I can see, the very people that need help the most to get onto the housing market and can ill afford to be getting less for their money are being penalised.”

We know that the “Help to Buy Scheme” (in which the government provides a guaranteed interest-free loan to first time buyers) is enabling developers to build more homes but when the Help to Buy homes have significantly less facilities for an identical price there has to be something wrong.

An article this week said that home moving company Reallymoving analysed data collected from over 44,000 first time buyers using its services over the past 12 months.

It claimed that first time buyers purchasing new homes using the government’s Help to Buy Scheme paid on average 12% more than those buying new homes without the scheme.

These figures suggest that “Help to Buy” users may be paying more than the property is worth in order to get the help they need to buy and may find it harder to recover their investment when they sell their homes

This Help to Buy Scheme appears to be simply putting government money in the pockets of developers and should be stopped.

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