Backed by £210m government funding through the HCA, FirstBuy offers an equity loan – up to 20% of a property’s value, jointly funded by the HCA and the house builder – to help first time buyers who could not otherwise afford to buy a home of their own.
The FirstBuy Prospectus outlines the criteria against which the HCA will assess offers from house builders – deliverability, type of property, standards and price – and clarifies details for consumers including the buying process and the role of Local Homebuy Agents in assessing potential buyers’ eligibility criteria and their ability to sustain home ownership.
Richard Hill, deputy chief executive at the HCA, says: “Thanks to FirstBuy over 10,000 first-time buyers will be able to realise the dream of owning their home, while house builders will benefit from an additional source of sales.
“In moving quickly since FirstBuy was announced in the Budget, to establish the detail of the new scheme, we can give certainty to potential buyers while maximising the impact of FirstBuy funding as a boost to the house building industry.
“We are now seeking schemes from house builders that give us high quality homes that meet the needs of first time buyers, while delivering value for money for the taxpayer.”
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman at the Home Builders Federation, says: “Firstbuy is a positive move that will give the industry a boost at a time when a lack of mortgage availability is constraining supply. It will help first time buyers, who have been hardest hit, get a foot on the housing ladder. Its swift implementation is crucial. HBF will be working with HCA and the industry to ensure we maximise the benefits of the scheme.”
All house builders and Registered Providers are eligible to bid for FirstBuy funding without the need to be one of the Agency’s pre-qualified Investment Partners, with the HCA seeking offers that include a good mix of one, two and three-bedroom homes, and intends to maximise the number of buyer completions by the end of March 2012.