Help to Buy ‘must be extended beyond new builds’, says estate agency chief

The trade body's CEO Nathan Emerson welcomes news that Help to Buy may make a comeback, but says it needs to include older properties.

nathan emerson

If Help to Buy comes back it must allow first-time buyers to purchase older homes and not just new builds, Propertymark says.

The trade body’s CEO Nathan Emerson (main picture) welcomes the idea that Help to Buy could return as long as it is changed to release ‘second steppers’.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is reported to be interested in reintroducing Help to Buy so hard-up renters can climb onto the housing ladder.

The programme which gave first-time buyers an interest free loan to help them meet the asking price for a property, was ditched in October last year.

‘Back on the table’

But the Government may bring it back ahead of a General Election as in incentive for tenants to escape spiralling rents, according to The Times.

A support scheme for new buyers is “back on the table”, and could be included in Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement, it is suggested.

“We cannot go into the next election without an offer for first-time buyers,” one minister said.

“Help to Buy should be extended to the whole market, not restricted only to new builds.”

Emerson says: “There needs to be more support for first-time buyers, and we welcome the Government’s suggestion to reintroduce the Help to Buy scheme, however, there are changes that could be made to improve the scheme.

“Help to Buy should be extended to the whole market, not restricted only to new builds. This would release more second steppers, and keep chains moving in a healthy direction as well as giving first time buyers more options other than just new builds which come at a premium.”

Mobeen Akram, National New Homes Account Director, MAB

Mobeen Akram, national new homes account director at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), says: “While we are pleased to hear that discussions about Help to Buy have opened once again, it’s important we remain open minded and realistic about viability and timescales.”

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