New market insight from house builder Crest Nicholson has shown that the government’s Help to Buy scheme has both upsized and upscaled the types of properties that first-time buyers can afford. Previously restricted by low budgets and rocketing house prices, aspiring home owners were limited to smaller properties – often apartments - with just one or two bedrooms and no outdoor space.
However, Help to Buy is enabling first-time buyers’ budgets to stretch much further, with many able to afford a three or four bedroom house with a private garden as their first purchase. Once relegated to the lower end of the property market, Help to Buy provides first time buyers with more choice over where they live.
Furthermore, the impact of being able to afford a larger property as a first time buyer has potentially reduced the number of steps that must be taken before reaching the position of purchasing their forever family home. When a first property is equipped with three or four bedrooms, a garden and extensive living accommodation, such as Oakgrove Village in Milton Keynes, where four bedroom homes are available from £303,960 through Help to Buy, it’s the optimum setting in which to raise a growing family. Affordability ensures a greater quality of life, and in purchasing a family home much earlier on, home owners save on average £20,000 in legal fees, stamp duty and removal costs per move.
Equipped with spacious living accommodation that is designed to adapt to the varying demands of contemporary lifestyles, the homes at Oakgrove Village offer both an open plan kitchen / family room for informal everyday life, as well as a separate living room that provides privacy and, if required, a traditional, more formal entertaining space. On the first floor, the 15ft master bedroom benefits from an en suite bathroom and fitted wardrobes for convenience and an added injection of luxury, whilst the large family bathroom is easily accessible to the three further double bedrooms. As an added innovation, the first floor landing opens onto a terrace area, for an alternative outdoor space that is separate from the garden.
However, it’s not just first time buyers who can benefit from the Help to Buy initiative, which is also designed to assist pre-existing homeowners who want to move, but whose current property doesn’t provide a sufficient financial platform from which to do so. Working in the same way as for first time buyers, purchasers need a 5 per cent deposit, and if approved, are eligible for a 20 per cent loan on homes worth up to £600,000.
Susan Young, Sales and Marketing Director at Crest Nicholson Regeneration, explains: “Currently, Help to Buy is only available on new build properties, which offers potential house buyers a head start from the rest of the second-hand market. At the start of 2014, phase two of Help to Buy will launch and is expected to be inundated with applications. Whilst the government funding amounts to £12billion, the pot isn’t limitless and there is a chance that it will run out before its three year expiration period.
“Furthermore, phase two of Help to Buy is forecast to create unparalleled demand for homes, in turn driving up property prices, so we would recommend house buyers who are thinking of using the scheme to discuss their options with a financial advisor sooner rather than later so that they have a greater choice when it comes to choosing their property.”
Four bedroom homes at Oakgrove Village are available from £379,950, or £303,960 with Help to Buy. For further information, please contact the sales and marketing suite on 0870 758 0430.