Government considering Help to Buy extension

Posted on Monday, April 27, 2020

Ministers are reportedly in talks with housebuilders about extending the Help to Buy scheme as part of a package of measures to kick-start construction.

The government is considering the move in a bid to counter the long-term impact of the current lockdown on the property market and building sector, according The Times.

It comes as Savills estimates that workers have stopped construction on sites that were expected to deliver around 200,000 new homes.

The figure is equivalent to nearly a year’s supply at a time when the government had set ambitious targets to drive up housing provision.

Help to Buy was due to be scaled back next April by restricting the scheme to first-time buyers and introducing regional caps on the amount that can be borrowed through the government equity loan.

However, ministers are thought to be considering an extension to the scheme in order to help the housebuilding sector avoid a crash similar to that seen following the 2008 financial crisis.

Kensington Mortgages new business director Craig McKinlay says: “A potential extension of the Help to Buy scheme makes complete sense at this time.

“Builder and consumer confidence could struggle post-lockdown and this will certainly boost both.

“Construction jobs are not just vital to the housing market, but our economy too, and maintaining these is crucial to keep it running and helping us recover.

“In our current world of uncertainty, any certainty is extremely welcome.”

 

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