The government’s announcement that it is bringing forward the deadline for Help to Buy is completely unfair and untimely.
With the cost-of-living crisis putting pressure on individuals and families, it is now even more important to avoid costly choices about home ownership.
At a time when the housing industry is doing everything it can to help first-time buyers get their foot on the property ladder, the government has thrown a huge spanner in the works.
As announced by the government last week, the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme will close to new applications on 31 October 2022.
This has come as a huge shock to many in the industry. The end of Help to Buy has been anticipated by many but bringing it forward without any warning was not so widely foreseen.
The government needs to prioritise the introduction of a replacement scheme for Help to Buy, otherwise first-time buyers are going to be even more up against it when planning to purchase their first home.
Once Help to Buy has ended, the focus will turn to the First Homes scheme, which will help first-time buyers purchase a new home for up to 50% off its market value. As much as this is a good idea, it can be seen as simply putting a plaster over a much bigger problem.
Over the next few months, the government needs to prioritise the introduction of a replacement scheme for Help to Buy if we’re going to continue helping first-time buyers onto the property ladder.
Simon Cox, managing director, Walter Cooper