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Chancellor George Osborne today visited Crest Nicholson’s Rosewood development in Colchester, Essex, to tour the site and meet with a new homeowner who used the government’s Help to Buy scheme to get onto the property ladder.

Mr Osborne visited the home of 26-year-old Craig Mills - who purchased a brand new £200,000 two-bedroom house at the site in September last year using Help to Buy – to discuss how the initiative has impacted on first time buyers like him and the wider UK housing market.

During the lunchtime visit, the Chancellor was shown around the development by Peter Diffley, Managing Director, Crest Nicholson Eastern, and met with members of the Crest Nicholson Eastern’s sales team before meeting Craig.

45% per cent of purchases at the development so far have been made with the support of the Help to Buy scheme, making home ownership a reality for first-time buyers.

Help to Buy is a government-backed scheme designed to help struggling first-time buyers onto the property ladder, making it possible to buy a new-build or existing home priced up to £600,000 with as little as a 5% deposit. Under the new Help to Buy ISA scheme, which launches this autumn, buyers can save up to £200 every month and the Government will add 25% on top (so £50 on £200), up to a maximum of contribution of £3000.

First-time buyer Craig, who works locally as an insurance claims adjuster, commented: “Help to Buy made such a huge difference to my purchase that I wanted to meet with the Chancellor today to help spread the word to more people out there who might be able to benefit from it.

“Without it, I would have paid more in rent than I currently do for my mortgage for a property which would have been nowhere near the high standard of the house I’ve managed to buy here at Rosewood.”

Peter Diffley, Managing Director, Crest Nicholson Eastern, thanked Chancellor George Osborne for making the lunchtime visit and hailed the government’s continued backing of the Help to Buy initiative.

He said: “Help to Buy continues to be incredibly beneficial to not only first-time buyers, but also for the wider UK property industry as a whole. Crest Nicholson has always supported the scheme, which also helps create jobs across the industry, in turn boosting local economies and the wider UK economy.

“It was wonderful to introduce the Chancellor to Craig so he could see just how important Help to Buy has been to first time buyers like him. Its impact has been life-changing in giving people a vital helping hand onto the property ladder and we’re extremely proud at Crest Nicholson to be able to help buyers like Craig make that first step.”

Crest Nicholson’s Rosewood development to the north of Colchester is an exciting collection of contemporary, spacious and light-filled one and two bedroom apartments and two, three and four bedroom houses with Help to Buy available on many of the remaining plots.

Prices for current availability start from £272,500 for a three-bedroom house. For more information on Rosewood call 0845 5211985 or visit