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Were you in your new home for Christmas?

1st January 2014 Simon Holland

Today saw Prime Minster David Cameron announce that the government’s ‘Help to Buy’ Scheme has helped more than 6,000 people achieve their dream of owning their own home, in the past three weeks alone.

In the 12 weeks leading up to Christmas, almost 750 homeowners completed their property purchases, and hundreds of others were able to move into their new homes in time for Christmas, with many of these residing across Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

This month has seen Santander and Barclays banks introduce mortgage products aimed at ‘Help to Buy’ properties on the market, meaning two-thirds of the total mortgage market in the UK now offers similar home loans. Other lenders that are part of the scheme include Virgin Money, RBS, Lloyds and Aldermore.

This is great news for first-time buyers who are looking for properties not only across Lancashire and Greater Manchester, but nationwide. The recession meant lenders clamped down on who they offered mortgages to, meaning people had to put increasingly large deposits down to secure their new home. This either put homeownership out of the grasp of many, or that many people had to dig into their life-savings, or ask their parents to stump up extra cash to help them.

‘Help to Buy’ will hopefully have also provided a boost to home sellers who are looking to either move up the property ladder, or move into a larger home. With more first-time buyers now scouring the market for their ideal home, so-called ‘second steppers’ that have been stranded in a stagnant market should now hopefully see some movement in the market again.

Mr Cameron said: “The New Year is often a time when people look to make those big life-changing decisions like moving home or taking that first step on the housing ladder. But too many people have found themselves frozen out of the market in recent years as a result of the size of the deposit required. That is why as part of our long-term economic plan. we introduced the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme, so hardworking people with sufficient earnings can get on, fulfil their aspirations and enjoy the security of owning their own home. In less than 3 months, the scheme has already helped thousands of people. I want to see that continue in 2014 and for ‘Help to Buy’ to help thousands more realise their dream of homeownership.”

I too welcome this scheme that is helping thousands of people achieve their dream of owning their own home, long may it continue!