9
Oct 19

Newly released data from estate agency, Springbok Properties, has found that first-time buyers in and around London have seen some of the biggest jumps in average house prices since the Help to Buy schemes were introduced.

Help to Buy is characterised by three schemes.

The Help to Buy Equity Loan was launched in 2013 and has buyers contribute a 5% deposit towards a new build, with the government providing a 20% equity loan on the property, or 40% within London, which is interest-free for the first five years.

This is available on new builds under £600,000 in England and £300,000 in Wales. The scheme is running until 2023, though after 2021 it will only be available for first-time buyers and there will be caps on the value of homes people can buy.

This is the most well-known of the Help to Buy schemes.

The second scheme is the Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee, which also launched in 2013. This had the government act as guarantors against loans, while it wasn’t restricted to new build. It was discontinued at the end of 2016.

The Help to Buy ISA was launched in 2015, which saw savers pay money into an ISA and then get a cash bonus form the government. The scheme closed for new entrants in November 2019, while the bonus must be claimed by 2030.

Springbok Properties looked at the average cost of a first-time buyer property across the UK and where has seen the largest uplift in price growth since Help to Buy was introduced. While Help to Buy has given many a leg up when it comes to climbing the property ladder, the influx of additional demand has also, perhaps ironically, pushed the cost of Help to Buy homes up considerably.

Across Great Britain, the average cost of a first-time buyer property has increased by 32.8% since 2013, almost on par with the regular market. The typical price first-time buyers paid for a property in Barking and Dagenham was £281,396 in 2019, an alarming 70.8% increase from 2013.

This isn’t the only East London region to see huge increases the average first-time buyer price, as they rose by 60.7% in Newham to £349,874 and 60.1% in Havering to £307,874.

Other areas to see a strong uplift are Waltham Forest in North East London, rising by 68.7% to £408,233; Thurrock in Essex, increasing by 59.2% to £237,635; and Stevenage in Hertfordshire, rising by 58.7% to £250,086.

Scotland and the North East more subdued

The City of Aberdeen, which has been hit hard by falling oil prices in the past few years, is the only area of the UK where first-time buyers are paying less than in 2013. The price they paid has fallen by -10.9% to £126,794 in 2019.

Some other areas of Scotland have only seen modest rises, as Inverclyde prices have risen by just 6.55% to £83,995, while South Ayrshire prices have seen a 6.9% uplift to £102,992.

In England, the worst climber is County Durham in the North East, where prices rose by 3.5% to £88,790. This is followed by Redcar and Cleveland, where prices climbed by 4.5% to £105,156; while behind that is Middlesbrough with an increase of 5.0% to £110,304.

It seems Help to Buy hasn’t been enough to kick-start some of these markets into action.

Shepherd Ncube, Founder and CEO of Springbok Properties, commented: “Help to Buy was introduced by the previous government with good intentions – to assist would-be home-buyers in their first step onto the property ladder.

However, it seems that whilst around 200,000 buyers have indeed been supported, the unintended consequence in most areas has seen an above average hike in prices driven by the demand that Help to Buy has created.

First rung homes are supposed to be more affordable, but we’ve seen the average price paid by a first-time buyer accelerate to similar levels as the wider market. Not only has this made it more difficult for today’s aspirational homeowner, but perhaps some tax-payers might question the wisdom of using their money to fuel house prices even further?”

7
Oct 19

Halifax has unveiled ‘Home by Halifax’, a new space on Cannon Street in London, dedicated to helping people buy a home.

The new is thought to be the first its kind in the UK and will bring together experts in home buying, interactive experiences and special events.

Aimed at everyone, from those just starting to think about saving to buy a property to those thinking about home insurance and other homeowner essentials. Extended opening hours will ensure expert staff are on hand to help walk people through the process and provide the best support possible at a time that’s convenient to London’s busy workers.

Located in the heart of London at 100 Cannon Street, Home by Halifax’ visitors will be greeted by a 55” interactive screen which breaks down the process of buying a home into helpful stages.

Free events open to everyone will also be a regular feature, focusing on a range of topics, including home buying and events with industry experts, and charity partners.

Yoga classes will also be offered free of charge to encourage mental and physical health and combat stress.

All events and seminars will be held in the morning, at lunch and after popular working hours. A list of current events can be found here.

Russell Galley, Managing Director, Halifax says: “We’ve built a different kind of space unlike any other dedicated to home buying, as we know the challenges people can face when attempting to set foot or move up the housing ladder.

Home by Halifax is designed to make the process simple, with extended opening hours and specially trained staff on hand to help people make the most of their visit at a time that’s convenient. Our free events also recognise that buying a home can be stressful, and that’s why we think it’s important to offer something different, focussed on health and wellbeing.”

Quality food and barista crafted coffee will also be available in Change Please coffee shop – a warm, informal space to chat, meet, work and learn. Run in partnership with social enterprise and award-winning local independent supplier Change Please, it empowers members of the local homeless community by offering opportunities to be trained as baristas.

Halifax recently launched the Family Boostmortgage to help first-time buyers without a deposit, where savings from parents or other family members can be used to provide security for 10% of the loan.

Staff will be on hand to discuss Family Boost, as well as a range of other products, with visitors from the 7th October. In addition, video links to further expert staff members will help customers make the most of their time in store on the rare occasion an adviser isn’t immediately on hand to help.

Home by Halifax will be open five days a week from 07:30 to 19:00 on Monday to Thursday, closing at 16:00 on a Friday.

23
Sep 19

Newly released research by Winmydreamhome.com takes a look at the current average first-time buyer house price and how this has changed historically, before forecasting house price growth based on the interpolation of historic data over the next 30 years.

Today across Britain, first-time buyers are paying £193,194 on average to get on the ladder but this could climb to £482,741 over the next three decades based on historical trends – an increase of 150%.

This increase would be highest across England, climbing 160% from an average cost of £206,018 today to £535,340 in 2049. The average FTB could be paying £278,468 to get on the Welsh ladder in 30 years, a 100% increase, while Scotland would be the most ‘affordable’, up 67% to £203,760 from £122,148.

Despite a current period of problematic price growth due to Brexit, London would remain the most unaffordable region of Britain by some way. The average FTB in London currently pays £410,084 to get a foot on the ladder but should prices maintain their growth based on historical trends, this cost could spiral to almost £1.5m by 2049 – an increase of 259%.

The South East would see FTBs pay a hefty £731,631 in 2049, joined in the £700k club by the East of England (£728,874). The South West would be home to an average FTB cost of just over half a million pounds, while the East and West Midlands would hit £405,945 and £397,741 respectively.

The North West, Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East would be the most affordable but would still see FTBs paying between £160k-£291k for their first home.

Marc Gershon of Winmydreamhome.com, commented: “A scary prospect but one that could materialise if we fail to address the lack of affordable housing being delivered, the attack on buy-to-let landlords restricting rental stock and the failure of wages to keep pace with property prices.

The tough task facing current home buyers is well documented but for those born today, the task of getting on the ladder could be nigh on impossible.

For many, competitions like win my dream home are a bit of fun in this day and age, fast forward 30 years and they could be the only realistic option for the majority when it comes to securing some bricks and mortar.”