Hope is in Sight for Second Steppers Thanks to Help to Buy

As lenders report significant uptake of the government’s Help to Buy initiative[1], market insight from leading house builder Crest Nicholson indicates that the scheme is as beneficial to first time buyers as it is to second steppers. Of the 30 buyers who completed on their new homes at Oakgrove Village development in Milton Keynes at the end of October, 100% were second time buyers – many of whom would previously have been trapped in their first home, lacking the necessary equity to trade up the property ladder.

With the average second stepper now confined to their starter home for 14 years after purchase, a recent study[2] has revealed that it is not just first time buyers who struggle to ascend the property ladder. Many aspiring second-time buyers bought their first home at the height of the property boom, but with the average deposit now hitting £64,000[3], they have since been trapped by an equity deficit, creating a bottleneck at the bottom of the ladder and stifling the wider market.

Crucially, whilst former schemes intended to stimulate the housing market focused exclusively on assisting first-time buyers, Help to Buy is available to second steppers too.

Requiring just a 5 per cent deposit on a property, a 75 per cent mortgage and a 20 per cent government loan on new build homes worth up to £600,000, the finances necessary to ascend the property ladder with the scheme are instantly more affordable. Simultaneously, Help to Buy also has an impact on the types of properties that second steppers can aspire to live in. Whilst a minimal move from a one bedroom flat to a small two bedroom house might previously have constituted a second step, the initiative has made three and four-bedroom forever family homes in desirable locations a viable purchase.

At Oakgrove Village in Milton Keynes, for example, four-bedroom houses, that boast extensive living accommodation and private gardens, are on the market from £297,960 with Help to Buy. With a full market value of £349,950 the scheme alleviates the difficulty of having to raise the extra 20 per cent, without jeopardising the ability to accrue equity.

Susan Young, Sales and Marketing Director at Crest Nicholson Regeneration, explains: “Whilst first-time buyers have taken full advantage of the government’s Help to Buy scheme, in certain parts of the country, very few second-time buyers are aware of how it can assist them too. There have been numerous reports outlining how people are putting their plans to start a family on hold because their homes are too small, but Help to Buy can help them to upsize into a property that is designed for either a growing or established family.

“Whilst both phases of Help to Buy have now launched, the first phase offers a completely different proposition to the second. Available exclusively on new build properties, the first phase of Help to Buy enables house purchasers to increase their budget by up to 20 per cent. Furthermore, the first phase ensures that second steppers are no longer hampered by a lack of equity in their current property.

“Although 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, so we would urge house buyers thinking of using the scheme to discuss their options with a financial advisor sooner rather than later, ensuring a greater choice when it comes to choosing their property.”

The four bedroom houses at Oakgrove Village are available from £349,950 or £297,960 with Help to Buy. For further details, please contact the sales and marketing suite on 0870 758 0430.

[1] Reports from RBS and Halifax: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24892649

[2] The Post Office

[3] Council of Mortgage Lenders

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