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New market insight from house builder Crest Nicholson has shown that the government’s Help to Buy scheme has both upsized and up-scaled 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 run down, small properties that were in need of much renovation work and with no outdoor space.

However, Help to Buy is enabling first-time buyers’ budgets to stretch much further, with many able to afford a two or three-bedroom apartment with private outdoor space 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 two bedrooms, private outdoor space and generous living accommodation, such as those available at Centenary Quay in Southampton, where two bedroom apartments in Ledbury House are available from £135,960 through Help to Buy or £169,950 without the scheme, it’s the optimum setting for a stylish first pad with scope to rent out a room or in which to start off newly married life and have a first baby. 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 apartments at Centenary Quay offer an open plan kitchen / living room, which opens onto the balcony, facilitating a light and airy feel, whilst the excellent storage ensures clutter can be minimised.

The main bedroom benefits from an en suite shower room and built-in wardrobe, whilst the second bedroom, which is a good sized double, benefits from the main bathroom too.

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.”

The two bedroom apartments at Ledbury House, Centenary Quay are available from £169,950 or £135,960 with Help to Buy. For further details, please contact the sales and marketing suite on 0870 758 0432.