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Homebuyers call for more Government support ahead of Spring Budget

Written by: Anna Sagar
Extending the mortgage guarantee scheme, upping funding for first-time buyer assistance and affordable housing schemes and restarting Help to Buy are just some of the support that homebuyers are calling for from the Government ahead of the Budget.

According to research from Smoove, which polled over 1,000 homeowners, around 60% want an extension of the mortgage guarantee scheme beyond December this year.

The scheme was introduced during the pandemic to support high loan-to-value lending and was extended by one year in December.

It has helped more than 30,000 buy a home since it was launched.

Around 28% wanted increased funding for first-time buyers, expanded financial support for affordable housing initiatives respectively and more Help to Buy.

The Help to Buy scheme closed for new applications in October, with its housebuilder completion deadline pegged for 17 March. The legal completion deadline is 31 March.

Nearly a quarter called for increased funding for construction of new housing developments, which should grow housing supply and lower housing costs.

Around 23% said that they would want rent controls in place.

Majority of households delay moving or selling plans

Nearly 60% of homeowners said they were unlikely to move or sell again within the next five years.

Around a third said that the rising cost of living was the reason for them putting off buying or selling, which was followed by 28% who cited higher mortgage rates.

Smoove data has revealed that the average mortgage value over the last six months has contracted from £221,047 to £174,687.

Around 35% of homebuyer transactions fell through in the same period, which is in line with 34% recorded in the same period last year.

It has also shown that over the last six months, waiting times between instruction and completion has increased by 4% from 153 days to 159 days. This is the equivalent of five months.

The average purchase price for buyers has gone up from £288,238 to £316,497.

Over a third of home movers think house prices will rise in the next three months, rising to 43% who predict they will rise in the next six months and over half who think they go up in the next year.

Smoove: ‘Homeowners retain an optimistic attitude’

Jesper With-Fogstrup, CEO of Smoove, said: “After a significant period of uncertainty over the last few months, it is understandable why many are looking to the Government for further support.

“However, it is clear from our research that shifting circumstances have not deterred the positive attitude of homeowners looking ahead, many of whom retain an optimistic outlook in relation to future house price growth.”

He added: “Meanwhile, albeit at higher levels than many are accustomed to, some lenders are beginning to tailor their mortgage product offerings to reflect the new market conditions.

“The economic picture, while complex, is also brightening, with inflation expected to continue in its downward trajectory this year, easing the strain on both buyers and sellers.”

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