Get up-to-speed on housing initiatives

GRAHAM FELSTEAD, HEAD OF INTERMEDIARY CHANNEL, ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND
GRAHAM FELSTEAD, HEAD OF INTERMEDIARY CHANNEL, ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND

To assist the housing market recovery the government is running a number of schemes targeting the new-build sector.

It is providing funding through the Homes and Communities Agency to help buyers with deposits and encourage developers to start building again.

Shared equity schemes are popular, allowing buyers to purchase their first home using low interest loans from the HCA’s HomeBuy agents to fund deposits alongside mortgages from lenders.

HomeBuy Direct has been the most heavily funded scheme in England, helping buyers purchase new-build properties.

The government is also providing help to developers. The HCA has committed £443m of investment in the first two rounds of its Kickstart programme to get 87 mothballed residential developments started again. Kickstart’s aim is to get 22,000 homes built in the next two years.

One of the conditions of Kickstart funding for 2010 is that just under 2,000 of the properties must be made available for purchase using HomeBuy Direct. This will rise to 2,500 in 2011.

With these initiatives in play it is worth brokers looking at the business opportunities.

Knowing things such as the locations of revitalised developments and application processes, knowing the types of people who would benefit from the schemes and getting your name in front of prospective buyers will help you penetrate this sector.