By Colm O’Neill
A Helping Hand
Taking your first step on the property ladder is a life-changing moment. It is affirmative and courageous, and inevitably a little daunting. As house prices in the UK continue to rise, it’s easy to feel trapped in “generation rent”. What’s important to remember is that help is available — you just need to know where to look for it.
First introduced in 2013, the national Help to Buy scheme provides first-time buyers with a government bonus, offering a safe and supported path to home-ownership where before there was none. The idea is simple; if you are preparing to buy your first home, invest your savings into a Help to Buy savings account, and the government will boost your savings by 25%. So, for every £200 you save, you will receive a government bonus of £50.
The More You Pay, The More You Save
From April 2013 to June 2019, the Help to Buy Scheme has helped more than 200,000 people purchase a house, with 81% percent of those being first-time buyers. There is even a special scheme for our heroes in the Armed Forces, which allows them to borrow up to 50% of their salary interest-free to use as a deposit.
One 2018 study concluded that first-time buyers stand to make savings of £2,268 per year on average, when they move from renting to owning. These potential savings are greatest in large metro areas such as London, meaning that the more you are paying in rent, the more you stand to save by becoming a home-owner. The market may seem tough at the moment, but the incentives to owning your own home are greater than ever before.
The Help to Buy scheme offers a much-needed lifeline to first time home-owners. A generation of young people have come of age believing they will be forever chained to the rental market. Help to Buy ensures they won’t be.