Affordable home scheme helps couple onto ladder


Monday 17th May 2010

Spare a thought for unfortunate first time property buyers. Recent property price gains have made it even more difficult for many people hoping to buy a new home of their own the first time.

Recent research from the National Housing Federation shows that almost one in five - 18% - of all first-time buyers under the age of 30 plan to live with their parents while they save for a deposit to buy their own home.

However, the rising number of affordable home schemes is helping more prospective homebuyers onto the property ladder for the first time.

One young couple decided to flee the family nest early and have purchased a two bedroom apartment at Barratt's Woolens Grove development in Hoddesdon, all thanks to the government's HomeBuy Direct scheme.

First-time buyers Paul Claydon, aged 24, and Francesca Norton, 23, were delighted to cut the apron strings and last week moved into a brand new home of their own at Woolens Grove.

The young couple decided to make the most of the government scheme which meant that they only needed to find a mortgage for 70% of the value of their new home; making getting on the property ladder an affordable option.

Paul comments: "Like many of our friends we could have stayed at home longer to save for a bigger deposit. However after over seven and a half years of dating we were quite keen to get a place of our own and I was also anxious to get onto the property ladder before house prices start to rise again.

"We found out about HomeBuy Direct and thought it was the ideal solution. With the scheme we were able to buy now and don't need to pay anything back until we sell the property. It even meant that we only needed to find a five per cent deposit so we didn't have to stay at home anymore and even have a bit left over to enjoy ourselves."

HomeBuy Direct enables first-time buyers to purchase 100% of a new home whilst only paying 70% of the price upfront. Negating the need for such a large deposit, the remaining 30% is funded by a joint equity loan from the housebuilder behind the new home development and the government's Homes and Communities Agency. The outstanding equity can then be redeemed in instalments over a ten year period or when the property is sold; whichever comes sooner.

Chris Scarborough, Sales Director for Barratt North London comments: "It's really tough for first-time buyers these days who don't have at least a twenty per cent deposit. HomeBuy Direct is the ideal solution for so many new homebuyers who don't have enough savings for the size of deposit required by most lenders now. It allows them to make the most of current house prices and what's more they don't need to pay back the 30% share until they sell the property.

"Our Woolens Grove development has attracted a considerable amount of first-time buyers who want to purchase with HomeBuy Direct. They have been mainly local buyers from Hoddesdon, many of whom like Paul and Francesca have been living with their parents and saw this as an opportunity to get onto the first rung of the property ladder."

Woolens Grove is a new home development in Hoddesdon by Barratt North London featuring 33 two-bedroom apartments, with current prices start from £195,000 (or £136,500 with HomeBuy Direct).