Builders hope for a boost once Help to Buy scheme includes second-hand homes

Oxford Mail: David Dunne, of Savvy Maintenance and Renovations Buy this photo David Dunne, of Savvy Maintenance and Renovations

BUILDERS and building supplies firms in Oxfordshire are hoping for a business boost when the Government’s Help to Buy mortgage scheme is widened to include secondhand properties.

The measures have already kick-started the new-build sector.

And when they are extended to all homes worth up to £600,000 in January, they are expected to revitalise the rest of the housing market.

Ian Duckitt, of building supplies firm Merkko Enterprises, in Kingston Bagpuize, near Abingdon, said: “The construction industry has been decimated over the past few years but we’ve noticed a change already.

“People who have not been able to do anything are now feeling confident enough to think about selling their existing property and buying a bigger one.

“There’s more potential activity in people buying previously owned properties for us.”

David Dunne, a director of Headington-based Savvy Maintenance and Renovations, said: “It will definitely increase our workload.

“It will mean more people wanting to modernise their homes including adding extensions, refurbishing and upgrading electrical and gas systems.”

The Help to Buy scheme was launched in this year’s Budget to help first-time buyers find a foot on the property ladder, but applied only to new-build homes.

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The latest phase will include older houses and run for three years from the start of 2014.

Loans from high street lenders will be underwritten by the Government, which will guarantee 15 per cent of the amount, and buyers will need only a five per cent deposit.

Critics fear the Government’s moves will push house prices even higher.

Brian Melrose, who runs Jericho-based BP Building and Carpentry, is one of those who is sceptical about the policy.

He said: “I appreciate what the Government is doing but that still doesn’t solve the basic problem that house prices are too high in this area. It needs to build more affordable housing.”

Comments (2)

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8:23pm Thu 1 Aug 13

Danny A says...

This scheme should be called help to SELL since it will only inflate prices. If the government really wanted to boost house renovations it could simply cut VAT on on the work and materials. Instead, it wants cripple you with tax AND DEBT. Cameron/Osborne said "you can't borrow your way out of a debt crisis". Hollow words.
This scheme should be called help to SELL since it will only inflate prices. If the government really wanted to boost house renovations it could simply cut VAT on on the work and materials. Instead, it wants cripple you with tax AND DEBT. Cameron/Osborne said "you can't borrow your way out of a debt crisis". Hollow words. Danny A
  • Score: -49

11:15pm Thu 1 Aug 13

Myron Blatz says...

Beware of yet another 'boom and bust' in the housing market, with the Tories trying get get people to gamble their savings and earnings again on the 'roulette wheel' of housing to support building companies and the banking sector - not to create jobs, but to create short-term fat profits. And will it actually solve the needs of the thousands of homeless in Oxfordshire and those who need social housing but can't find any council homes to rent? It was bad enough under the former Blair/Brown Labour government, but now we have Cameron and Osborne once again trying to bump-start a failing economy little better than Greece, Italy or Spain - with about the only saving grace being that the UK hasn't been totally devastated by the wretched Euro.
Beware of yet another 'boom and bust' in the housing market, with the Tories trying get get people to gamble their savings and earnings again on the 'roulette wheel' of housing to support building companies and the banking sector - not to create jobs, but to create short-term fat profits. And will it actually solve the needs of the thousands of homeless in Oxfordshire and those who need social housing but can't find any council homes to rent? It was bad enough under the former Blair/Brown Labour government, but now we have Cameron and Osborne once again trying to bump-start a failing economy little better than Greece, Italy or Spain - with about the only saving grace being that the UK hasn't been totally devastated by the wretched Euro. Myron Blatz
  • Score: -89

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