The second phase of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme has now been officially launched (three months earlier than originally planned) with the first banks releasing their rates. This part of the scheme offers buyers the chance to buy a property up to £600,000 with only a 5% deposit, and a 95% mortgage. Up to 15% of the value of the property will be guaranteed by the Government, in exchange for a fee from the lender. The aim? To “make the dream of home ownership a reality”. Dreams are all very well, but how will this affect the property market, and Kingsley Napley clients?

The launch of the scheme coincides with the RICS’s Residential Marketing Survey, which cites a four-year high in residential house prices together with a rise in the number of sales. This is confirmation that the long promised green shoots have finally started emerging in the UK real estate market. The survey results also reflect a rise in demand for properties as a result of the first wave of the Help to Buy scheme, launched in April of this year, and already there has been much speculation that Help to Buy will encourage unwanted and unnatural inflation of house prices eventually fuelling a housing bubble (and we all know where that has the tendency to lead). The scheme has already been plagued with a plethora of criticisms and for now the property world remains sceptical. While this won’t be a scheme our clients will be making direct use of, we will be keeping a close eye on whether prices rise, deposits drop, demand increases, and how this might impact the UK’s residential property market at this crucial point in the country’s economic recovery.