Hours after Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the flagship Conservative Help to Buy scheme will be rolled out next week, three months earlier than planned, one property expert has questioned whether this will fuel the right economic boom.
Channel 4 writer Siobhan Kennedy claims there are gaping holes in the initiative which could open up the possibility of a ‘housing bubble’ for Britain.
As reported by bbc.co.uk, Help to Buy gives people the chance to take out 95 per cent mortgages on homes worth up to £600,000, with big lenders Natwest, RBS and Halifax all signed up as partners. State sponsorship means buyers will only need to pledge five per cent of a property’s value as a deposit, with the government guaranteeing the remaining 15 per cent.
The deal will be available for £12 billion worth of guarantees on up to £130 billion worth of mortgages over the next three years.
In words that should be echoed by any trainee estate agent, Ms Kennedy said that any attempt to get more people on the property ladder should be welcomed. However, writing at blogs.channel4.com, she said a boost in demand for property will only push up house prices and fuel “the wrong kind” of economic boom.
“The type where interest rates rise and cash-strapped households find themselves suddenly unable to make the payments on their hugely over-leveraged house purchase,” she commented.
Ms Kennedy says it’s not fair that people earning decent salaries cannot afford interest rates on their mortgages even after approval.
Though on the other hand, she does believe this might encourage more people to save up for their deposits and increase the supply of houses in the meantime.
Speaking at the Conservative’s annual conference in Manchester, Mr Cameron also rejected fears that Help to Buy will create a housing bubble.
He stated that if the government does not push forward with its plans, “it will only be people with rich parents to help them who can get on the housing ladder”, seemingly arguing that the bubble is already present.