NewBuy sales more than double in last quarter of 2012
The scheme, which allows buyers to purchase a new build home with a 5% deposit, launched last March with the aim of helping struggling first time buyers to get on the housing ladder and second movers to upsize.
While completions were slow in the first six months, reaching 629 by the end of September, they picked up at the end of the year. Between October and the end of December, 893 properties were purchased under NewBuy.
However, the number of completions falls short of the 2,000 reservations announced by the Home Builders Federation in November.
A Home Builders Federation spokesman said sales figures always lagged behind those of reservations and a rapid increase in the number of developers signed up to NewBuy had helped to boost take-up: “Now that we have got more developers on board, more banks on board and the interest rates are down, reservations have increased.”
Reservations had jumped from 60-70 a week in September to 110-120 a week in the New Year, he said. In total, 3,400 homes have been reserved – 90% of which are expected to complete.
While NewBuy has not cost the government anything, as one of the underwriters of the scheme it has accrued liabilities of £15.4m by the end of 2012.
Completions have been concentrated around large urban areas, especially around Tyne and Wear, Tees Valley, Manchester, Birmingham and the West Midlands, Bristol, Milton Keynes and London.