How affordable housing schemes are helping first-time buyers

However there is still wariness about how useful government initiatives will prove to be

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The Independent Online

First-time buyers account for 65 per cent of all purchases in affordable housing schemes over the last 12 months,  according to Halifax.

Of the 14,737 purchases of homes by all buyers under the various shared equity and shared ownership schemes in the last year, 40 per cent were aged 20-29.

However, the report also shows that among this groups there is also  a lack of understanding of the support available to first-time buyers through Government initiatives such as NewBuy and Help to Buy. Indeed, less than a third of 20-45 year olds believe they help people to get on the property ladder.

Craig McKinlay, Halifax Mortgage Director, said: “Many of the affordable home ownership schemes available have been designed specifically to help first-time buyers get on the ladder and boost new build sales. They can help people realise their ambitions to become homeowners, whilst also providing the potential to boost levels of housebuilding, which could help to alleviate housing supply issues.

“The recent introduction of the Help to Buy equity scheme may well play an important role in meeting demand by targeting all buyers, not just those buying for the first-time. The Help to Buy mortgage guarantee, to be launched in January 2014, will also extend assistance to buyers looking to purchase existing properties as well as new builds.” 

According to Halifax, the average price paid for properties bought under the various affordable housing schemes in Britain is £167,9554, 10 per cent lower than the £185,3244 average for all house purchases. The highest average price paid using these schemes is in London (£228,560) and the lowest is in the North East (£132,483). In London, the average value of a property sold in a scheme is 25 per cent lower than the regional average for all housing transactions.

Around 16 per cent of all affordable housing transactions between April 2012 and 2013 were in the South East followed by Scotland (14 per cent), then the North West, the South West and West Midlands (each 10 per cent).