By Clare Noakes, regional sales director for Lovell North West
While first timers account for about 81% of home buyers making use of the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme, a weighty 19% - or one in five - are not.
So-called ‘second movers’ are also taking full advantage of the scheme, which is available on new homes with a price tag of up to £600,000. So far, over 100,000 people have used the equity loan to buy their new home, according to Government statistics.
At Lovell, we are pleased to offer Help to Buy assistance on many of our new properties - around 50% of our new home sales include Help to Buy support.
On one hand, we see how it helps first time buyers afford their very first property, often a two or three-bedroom starter home. Indeed, there is nothing more satisfying than handing over a set of keys to a delighted new homeowner who is making their mark on the property ladder.
What we’re also finding among our Help to Buy customers, is that increasingly, second steppers (and indeed some first time buyers) want to use Help to Buy to enable them to buy a larger home than they might have previously been able to afford, with plenty of space and extra bedrooms.
A long-term investment, these customers are seeking homes they can grow in to, rather than grow out of, and perhaps that’s why our larger four-bedroom properties have been just as popular with customers using Help to Buy.
That’s certainly been the case for Mike Todhunter and Mags Fenton, who are now enjoying their dream home, a four-bedroom detached property at The Laureates in Cockermouth. With the assistance of the Help To Buy scheme, the couple chose a Lovell home to accommodate their growing family and leave an extra bedroom to use as a spare room or as an office if they ever need it.
And it’s a trend running right across many of our developments in the North West, from Green Bank in Middleton to Victoria Place in Birkenhead, where our customers are not only using Help to Buy to purchase starter homes, but they’re snapping up our four-bedroom properties, with a view to securing their future in a home that will suit their changing needs, for whatever life brings their way.