The Government is in talks about extending the Help to Buy scheme beyond its current end date of April 2021 to help support the housing industry after Covid-19 lockdown measures are lifted. According to The Times, the new scheme would run for a further two years.
Savills predict that the construction of circa 200,000 new homes will be severely thwarted due to the long-term impact of the temporary closure of construction work together with sales offices. The Help to Buy scheme, available to first-time buyers has accounted for 81% of total purchases since April 2013. Once the coronavirus restrictions are lifted, this potential extension of the scheme will have a positive impact on both the construction sector as well as the housing market and overall economy itself.
Craig McKinlay, new business director at Kensington Mortgages, commented:
“A potential extension of the Help to Buy scheme makes complete sense at this time. Builder and consumer confidence could struggle post-lockdown and this will certainly boost both.
“Construction jobs are not just vital to the housing market, but our economy too, and maintaining these is crucial to keep it running and helping us recover. In our current world of uncertainty, any certainty is extremely welcome.”
Kate Davies, executive director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), said:
“Many borrowers who might reasonably have expected to be able to complete their purchase before the end of 2020 may now find that very challenging. Any flexibility which will allow purchases to complete beyond the originally fixed deadlines will be welcomed. Going forward, it may be that some changes could sensibly be made to the scheme, while allowing it to remain in place for longer. Such changes could, for example, relate to the types of properties being built and could address some of the criticism which Help to Buy has attracted in the past.”
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