Help to Buy scheme boosts demand

Demand for property hit a three-year peak in April as state initiatives boosted the market.

New buyer inquiries rose 25 per cent, according to a survey from Rics, thanks in large part to the Government's Help to Buy scheme – a £5.4bn package of loans and guarantees which was announced in March's Budget and lends buyers up to 20 per cent of the value of a new build home, interest-free for five years.

Peter Bolton King, a director at Rics, said: "It is encouraging to see government initiatives are having an impact on the property market. Help to Buy in combination with the Funding for Lending scheme appears to be giving the market a shot in the arm.

"Thankfully, sales are expected to pick up over the coming months, albeit from historically low levels. However there are some understandable concerns that the measures will also lead to higher prices. In view of this, it is critical that developers are as good as their word and speed up the delivery of new stock."