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Help to Buy Still Causing Confusion

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UK Property Market  help to buy scheme  Housing Confusion 

Help to Buy Still Causing Confusion

By - Tuesday 17 December 2013

There is still confusion over the government's Help to Buy scheme, according to Rightmove. Two months after the launch of the mortgage guarantee component of the initiative, research has revealed lack of knowledge about the specifics on the scheme is widespread and more needs to be done to ensure there is a bottom-up recovery to the housing market.

Among the first-time buyers who claim to understand the second phase of Help to Buy, 23 per cent wrongly believe it only applies to new build properties. Twenty-two per cent are also unaware that the scheme can be used for homes up to the value of GBP 600,000. Meanwhile, 34 per cent think the mortgage guarantee is an extension of phase one of the Help to Buy equity loan scheme.

With nearly one third of those that intend to buy over the next year being first-time buyers, this confusion is concerning. Rightmove claims those new to the property ladder are at their highest proportion in over three years and heading towards the 40 per cent norm. If the scheme was better understood, more first-time buyers could get into the market. Rightmove claims that the 'chain-building' momentum this would create would help to unlock the market.

Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove, commented: "Although it’s still too early to judge the impact of the scheme, we anticipate that more first-time buyers getting onto the bottom rung of the housing ladder could have knock-on effects further up, helping more people to trade up and downsize.  Many have postponed their move over the last few years as either limited equity or lack of confidence has left them unable or unwilling to. This scheme has the potential to offer hope and confidence to many of these homeowners enabling them to come to market and free up some much-needed supply."

Improving the fluidity of the market will be important for those considering property investment, especially over the long-term. While a more crowded market will create competition for buyers, it will improve the prospects of investors whether they choose to rent or resell their property.

Read more about the potential bigger issues with Help to Buy

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