Help to buy scheme Is it helping? Paula Higgins Chief Executive April

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1 Help to buy scheme Is it helping? Paula Higgins Chief Executive April

2 About the Homeowners Alliance The HomeOwners Alliance champions the interests of Britain s homeowners and aspiring homeowners We are a consumer organisation providing a one stop shop of information, advice and services that homeowners can trust We make buying, selling and owning a home a less stressful experience We also raise the issues in the media that keep our members awake at night and lobby government and industry to get a better deal for homeowners The Sunday Times: with the launch of the HomeOwners Alliance, British property owners finally have an ally The industry has long had dozens of groups representing their interests, and it is about time the ordinary homeowner did. It can only be good news for homeowners and homeownership Grant Shapps, (former) Housing Minister 2

3 Research reports include - Concerns about house prices spread across UK as housing market gathers pace Annual HomeOwner Survey 2014 Why the Mystery? An investigation into the murky world of estate agent fees and contracts Stamping on Aspiration - The astonishing impact of stamp duty on homeowners and the housing market On the Edge - 300,000 interest-only mortgage holders set to lose their home The Stresses of Buying and Owning a Home The Death of a Dream the crisis of homeownership in the UK House Price Watch & HOA Latest published monthly 3

4 Why the obsession with owning your own home? Homeownership levels are at their lowest levels since the 1980s. Strong evidence of the financial, economic and social benefits of homeowning in the UK. It gives freedom, security and stability to individuals and families with children, as well as a financial safety net for old age. Yet, London is now a city of renters. The dream of owning a home is still very much alive. 86% of British people want to own their home. Death of a dream found an ownership gap of 5 m who want to own but can t. UK homeownership ranks in bottom 11 in EU, below Portugal, Ireland and Bulgaria The Death of a Dream the crisis of home ownership in the UK, A HomeOwners Alliance Report

5 Have not been building enough new homes for 30 years

6 Help to buy - basics Help to Buy 1-6 billion worth of equity loans of up to 20 per cent of a property for buyers of new homes with a 5 per cent deposit. Started in April 2013 and has been extended to run until end of the decade. Help to Buy 2-12 billion worth of mortgage guarantees enabling 95 per cent mortgages for homes worth up to 600k. It has been available to buyers of any home (new or old) since January 2014 and is due to run until December But funding for lending, low interest rates, economic recovery, confidence in market making more of a difference

7 Help to buy is it helping? Part 1 Less criticised because it is directly linked to the supply of new homes. But how many new homes will be built because of help to buy and how many would have been built anyway. Housebuilders doing well with rise in share prices Part 2 - Controversial due to fears that it will boost demand, inflating a house price bubble that could burst leaving the taxpayer to pick up the tab. But take up has been small. Why? expensive mortgage rates and 90 and 95% mortgages are available outside Help to Buy Is Help to Buy about Help to Vote? Assume that homeowners like rising house prices but is this changing? Homeowners no longer so worried about negative equity as soaring house prices become a national concern April 7, Daily Mail

8 Help to buy - stats Help to Buy 1 (equity loans for new builds) Helped to buy 14,465 homes in England in 11 months Help to Buy 2 (mortgage guarantees) saw 2,572 completions in 4 months In context 19,000 transactions compared to 1.1 million market wide Also, 3 out of 4 Help to Buy homes were outside London 88% of households used Help to Buy have been first-time buyers. But rising house prices put homeownership beyond the reach of many more.

9 Help to buy confusion and hype Terminology - Help to Buy, FirstBuy, NewBuy, Rent to Save, Intermediate Rent Difficult to access Help to Buy Agents, participating house builders, mortgage lenders, housing associations A confidence boost for the housing market can be reinforcing panic buying but also raising unrealistic expectations Tightening up of mortgage lending already happening (eg interest-only mortgages, affordability tests) Long-term affordability is a real issue - help to buy equity loan may look cheap but borrowers are only buying 80 per cent of the home and will have to pay interest on equity loan after five years And what will happen when interest rates start to rise

10 Help to buy a missed opportunity New models of housebuilding encourage and support smaller house builders, self-build Goal should be to improve quality of new homes and build new communities Reform of leasehold/freehold law Current system is archaic, and a great cause of tension, cost and unfairness. All new builds should be commonhold Help first time buyers in other ways limit market distortions by reforming stamp duty One size does not fit all adjust for regional differences

11 What needs to change Stability in the housing market Unsustainable housing bubbles brings misery to homeowners & first time buyers Treat those buying a roof over their heads differently from property speculators/investors More houses at the right prices in the right places stop Generation Rent turning into Nation Rent Need to increase rates of housebuilding from 100,000 a year to 300,000. Reform homebuying process tackle gazumping & lack of certainty, reform leasehold/freehold law Goal of public policy? stable house prices for next 10 years. To achieve that, build more homes that people want 11

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