"All sectors must join together to help elevate the profile of the fantastic schemes still available for first-time buyers, those with smaller deposits or individuals returning to the market after a separation or divorce"
National brokerage, Just Mortgages, is one such firm that is urging the sector to boost support for schemes such as shared ownership, Deposit Unlock and First Homes.
Government figures show that 19,386 new shared ownership properties were delivered in 2021-22, a 14% increase from the year before. This is the highest number since records began back in 2014-15. Of those 19,386 homes delivered, 18,751 were new builds.
John Doughty, financial services director at Just Mortgages New Build Division argues that schemes like these are well placed to fill the void left by Help to Buy. In fact, he says that many of the schemes have been doing so already, especially with the changes made to Help to Buy in its final version.
John said: “With more than 350,000 buyers now on the housing ladder – the majority of those being first-time buyers, and almost £2 billion in profit generated for the Treasury, there’s no question Help to Buy has been a success on all fronts. Now it has concluded, all sectors must join together to help elevate the profile of the fantastic schemes still available for first-time buyers, those with smaller deposits or individuals returning to the market after a separation or divorce.
“In truth, the likes of shared ownership have long been a viable alternative, especially since the government changed Help to Buy to include regional price caps. This effectively made it less accessible to a number of buyers. As it continued to wind down, we saw more enquiries and interest in shared ownership with 2022 being our busiest year. This clear demand for low deposit alternatives has continued into 2023, especially as both First Homes and Deposit Unlock have continued to expand.
“A joined-up approach behind these schemes will help highlight the opportunities available for those facing tougher affordability challenges. With housebuilding already feeling the impact of losing Help to Buy – especially in a higher interest environment, a concerted effort by all parties will ensure more properties are available, helping to fuel new-build demand in the process.
“With developers working collaboratively with lenders, housing associations, scheme providers and brokers, we will continue to see more homes built and more opportunities to unlock potential buyers.”