New market insight from house builder Crest Nicholson suggests that a large proportion of second-time buyers in Hertfordshire are unaware of how the government’s Help to Buy scheme could assist with their next step up the property ladder. At Aldermere in Cheshunt, only 22 per cent of people using the scheme are second steppers, which means many could be missing out on their dream home.
With the average second stepper now confined to their starter home for 14 years after purchase, a recent report 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, they have since been trapped by a lack of equity, creating a bottleneck at the bottom of the ladder and stifling the wider market.
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 Aldermere in Cheshunt for example, the three-bedroom Elmswell house type with its extensive living accommodation and private garden, is on the market for £250,750 with Help to Buy. With a full market value of £295,000, the scheme alleviates the difficulty of having to raise the extra 20 per cent, without jeopardising the ability to accrue equity.
Benefitting from adaptable living accommodation, The Elmswell offers an open-plan kitchen with breakfast area and a beautiful bay window looking out to the front. The separate living room, which features double doors onto the garden, can offer fantastic space for summer entertaining.
Upstairs are three good sized bedrooms, amongst which the main bedroom features an en suite bathroom and fitted wardrobes, alongside a large family bathroom.
Annette Cole, Sales and Marketing Director at Crest Nicholson Eastern, explains: “Whilst first-time buyers have taken full advantage of the government’s Help to Buy scheme, it seems that 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 an established family.
“Although 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 three bedroom Elmswell homes are available from £295,000 or £250,750 with Help to Buy. Two bedroom homes are also available from £260,000. For further details, please contact the sales and marketing suite on 0870 757 8192.
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