%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%More than 35,000 households have been helped on to the property ladder through the Government's low-deposit Help to Buy schemes, housing minister Kris Hopkins has announced.
The latest figures show that since the launch of Help to Buy 14 months ago in England, 22,831 people have bought newly-built homes through the Help to Buy equity loan scheme.
A further 7,313 sales have taken place through the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme which was launched across the UK last October.
In England, 5,173 sales have also happened through the NewBuy scheme, taking the overall number of homes sold under the Help to Buy banner to over 35,000.
All sales which take place through the Help to Buy equity loan scheme and three-quarters of those for all the schemes running under Help to Buy are for new-build properties, the Government said.
Recent estimates show that Help to Buy accounts for 3% of overall house sales.
Mr Hopkins said: "In 2010 we inherited a broken housing market, where hard-working people who could afford a mortgage were locked out of home ownership because they couldn't get the deposit together.
"Help to Buy is changing that - to date, this scheme has enabled 35,000 people buy their own place with a fraction of the deposit they would normally require.
"And with housebuilding up a third over the past year, it's clearly having a wider impact."
The people who affect house prices
Help to Buy schemes assist 35,000
They have the power to push a price higher, depending on how many other people are in the running for a home and how liberal they want to be with the truth to the buyers. In some cases, they can also do more harm than good by initially overvaluing a property. The worst case scenario is the home eventually sells for less than it would have done had it been priced realistically in the first place.
Sometimes a quick-moving solicitor can be the difference between getting the home at the price you want and getting into a bidding war or missing out entirely. If the buyer needs a quick sale, they're more likely to do a deal with someone who has a flexible solicitor who can push through the sale so it suits them.
Research by Halifax concluded that anti-social neighbours could take £31,000 off the price of an average home. If you’re selling, you should declare any problems you’ve had on a Seller’s Property Information Form, otherwise you could face a claim later on.
While an increase in Council Tax might not be too much of a deterrent to a potential buyer, plans to grant permission for new homes, a mobile phone mast or wind turbines could knock an asking price down. If you're a buyer, the local council should have details of any future planning applications and you can search them for a small fee.
A lot of traffic in an area obviously has an effect on air quality. Since 1997 each local authority in the UK has carried out studies of the air quality in its area. If an area falls below a national benchmark for air quality, it has to be declared an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA). Some residents of the Llandaff area of Cardiff expressed concern that it had become an AQMA due to an increase in traffic in the area. Whether this becomes a widespread issue remains to be seen.
Mortgage availability is a key driver of property prices. If no-one can take out a mortgage, then prices will stall and eventually fall. We've seen this happen in parts of the UK in recent years, as lenders tightened up their criteria following the credit crunch. Conversely, good mortgage availability will mean more people are competing for properties - to a seller's advantage if their home is desirable.
An outstanding local school can add around 8% to the value of a home, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. On the flipside, a not so good Ofsted report can take off a similar amount. If you’re concerned about a school’s performance, one way to get involved is to become a governor.
Initiatives such as the Help To Buy scheme have been credited with pushing house prices up. A buoyant economy with strong employment gives people the confidence to buy and leads to an upward shift in house prices, while rises in unemployment have the reverse effect. Planning restrictions, at both a national and local government level, affect the number of homes in a particular area.