Help to Buy is dominating the headlines at the moment, dividing opinion as to whether it is helping speed up the economic recovery or simply laying the foundation for another property price bubble. Regardless of which side of the argument you agree with, there is no question that the scheme is helping sales directors of housebuilding companies all over the UK meet or exceed their growing completions targets.
Interestingly, a number of sales directors were sceptical of the impact of the Help to Buy scheme when it was launched earlier this year. Their reasoning was simply that there were already a number of mortgage products available for the buyer with just a 5% deposit so Help to Buy wasn’t going to be a difference maker. However there is no question that the scheme has been highly effective in bringing more buyers to market. Interestingly, it may well be the controversy over the long term effects that has kept it in the news and therefore the potential buyers mind. The initial announcement was in the 2013 budget so right from day one, the message enjoyed a high profile platform and the ensuing debate over its merits has acted like a consistent marketing campaign through recent months. So in short the national profile of Help to Buy has been a huge driver behind it’s success.
The second phase of Help to Buy has been brought forward enabling the government backed equity loans to be utilised on second hand property. In theory this is bad news for the UKs housebuilders as the buyers previously were restricted to new build property if they want to participate in the scheme. They now have a choice. So will 2014 see Help to Buy purchasers drifting towards the second hand market and the positive impact on housebuilders diluted? Not necessarily. The number of buyers taking up the scheme may simply grow sufficiently to sustain both the ambitions of the new build and second hand market simultaneously. As the scheme becomes more and more widely used tentative potential buyers may well be drawn to the market. In property most buyers are also sellers. So any process which facilitates a quicker sale enables the seller to become a buyer. For example a family with a home with little or no equity may be able to more easily sell it to a first time buyer who needs the Help to Buy scheme to make the purchase. The family themselves can then utilise the same scheme to purchase another property which could be new build. In other words, by extending the scheme the chancellor is further unlocking the property market which ground to a halt during the recession. For everyone involved in the property industry that is very welcome news.
Simon Edbury is a specialist in the recruitment of experienced house building staff. His recent work has focused largely on sales positions in the new homes sector and he has successfully appointed people with existing house building industry experience, and those with transferable skills from other sectors.
If you need staff for your developments why not advertise on www.careersinhousebuilding.co.uk or contact Simon for advice on industry trends and how to recruit the staff you need in challenging market conditions.