With a raft of new schemes coming to market ahead of the end of Help to Buy, questions are being asked about how much brokers and clients understand the options available to them.
Speaking on the latest Accord Mortgage Growth Series podcast that went live on Thursday July 7, Craig Hall, director of new homes at LSL Financial Services, talked through some of the lesser-known government, private and lender schemes designed to help people on to or up the property ladder.
However, he warned more needs to be done to raise awareness of these options if they’re to fill the gap left by Help to Buy when it closes to applications in October 2022.
Hall explained: “I don’t believe first-time buyers are aware of alternative schemes. There’s a lot of work to be done to really help navigate that with consumers, brokers need to be engaging with lenders, networks, clubs and BDMs. Doing so provides a great opportunity for them to really demonstrate their knowledge to clients to help find the right solution.”
Even with back-to-back rate rises, Hall reminded listeners that the Bank rate is still historically low compared to previous years and will make for ‘a very different landscape in the future as borrowers’ fixed rate deals end’.
He added: “Advice will be key for supporting first-time buyers and those moving – looking at a range of options and what’s affordable – but also in terms of helping people to keep their homes too. What happens when fixed rates finish? Having a real plan around customer contact strategies will be fundamental to helping clients as they feel the pinch.”
The intermediary lender’s latest podcast also considered the impact of rising interest rates on the first-time buyer market, the Bank of England’s removal of stress testing requirements and examines the effects Help to Buy has had on the sector, with a top tip for brokers not to forget about those nearing the end of their interest-free years on the scheme.
Nicola Alvarez, senior manager for new propositions at Accord Mortgages who hosted the podcast, said: “The end of Help to Buy is highly topical at the moment so it was great to hear Craig’s thoughts first-hand about many facets of the scheme from introduction to winding down.”
“It’s another great piece of content for our Growth Series Library that I’m sure will prove insightful to many advisers who have secured Help to Buy mortgages for clients, or who are looking at how to fill the gap the scheme will no doubt leave.”
Brokers can sign up to receive the Growth Series material for free here.