The industry has received little guidance about what form Help to Buy part two will take when it is finally implemented but a recent article that appeared in both the Financial Times and The Sunday Times offered some encouragement.
It suggested that private insurers could be involved in the initiative’s exit strategy, which has been a cause of uncertainty and a key concern expressed about the scheme.
We have long campaigned for the involvement of the private mortgage insurance sector in Help to Buy and while we still believe it should be involved from the get-go, the fact that the Treasury is considering using it at the end of the three-year term is a positive development. It is also in line with what we have seen in other countries where such schemes exist.
More affirmative action for the mortgage market – and the wider economy in general – came from Bank of England governor Mark Carney’s recent pledge that interest rates would be tied to unemployment levels, effectively giving borrowers and lenders more security and allowing them to plan for the slightly longer term.
Although mortgage activity has picked up in the first half of 2013, hopefully this announcement will give lenders the confidence to offer even keener rates and potential homeowners the reassurance that now is a good time to buy.
We echo Carney’s sentiments that the outlook for the UK is upbeat, despite not having reached “escape velocity”, and argue that you could extrapolate this observation to both the mortgage and first-time buyer markets.