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Help to Buy aids 6,700 new homeowners across the Black Country

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Mon 11 May 2015

Help to Buy aids 6,700 new homeowners across the Black Country

More than 1,300 of them have been in the four Black Country boroughs of Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley and Sandwell

The launch of the Help to Buy scheme is also widely credited with boosting the sales and profit figures of the UK's housebuilding companies, although most firms say last year's surge in demand has now cooled down.

Since the scheme, which provides mortgage guarantees and equity loans to help people buy homes, was launched last April it has helped more than 66,000 households nationwide.

Birmingham Council is the highest performing local authority across the West Midlands for the two parts of Help to Buy – with more than 800 new homes secured by its residents.

In Dudley the scheme has helped people secure 379 homes, with 347 in Wolverhampton, 334 in Sandwell and 282 in Walsall.

In Staffordshire 236 homes have been bought in Cannock Chase thanks to the scheme, with 130 in Stafford, 146 in Lichfield, 71 in South Staffordshire and another 122 in Kidderminster and Wyre Forest.

The Government says the scheme is intended to support hard-working people who can afford a mortgage, but struggle to save the deposits required by lenders in the wake of the financial crisis.

Together with the government’s NewBuy scheme – which offers 95 per cent mortgages for those buying new-build properties, the number of new home owners across the country has reached more than 71,000.

The new Government figures show that 81 per cent of Help to Buy sales involved first-time buyers, helping 54,000 get on to the property ladder. More than half the homes bought were newly built, while private house building is up 20 per cent since the launch of the scheme.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "In the aftermath of the great recession the prospect of buying a first home was nothing more than a pipe dream for many thousands of hardworking people in Britain. Even those with a decent salary who could afford monthly mortgage payments were not able to get on the housing ladder because they could not find a deposit. Only those with access to big savings or the ‘bank of mum and dad’ could get the security together to buy a cherished home of their own.

“That is now changing. Today, Help to Buy has helped thousands of hard-working people buy a new home and enjoy the security and peace of mind that comes with that. And crucially, it’s playing a major part in increasing the number of new homes being built around the country – creating jobs and investing in communities."

House builders have also welcomed the role Help to Buy has played in boosting supply. Home Builders Federation Executive chairman Stewart Baseley said: “The increased certainty offered by Help to Buy has led directly to a significant increase in investment by house builders in land, the supply chain and labour. By unlocking demand and making home ownership affordable for many thousands of young people and families the scheme has provided the impetus for house builders to step up production."

Express & Star   1 Dec 2014