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Article for Conservative Home: Cameron and the housing crisis

This article was originally published on Conservative Home.

David Cameron has started 2014 by hailing the success of the Help to Buy scheme, which has given six thousand people access to high-value mortgages since its launch in October. The timing displays the Prime Minister’s recognition that housing will be the central political battleground in the year that UK parties will forge their general election manifestos. However, the Coalition’s flagship scheme for owner-occupation is a long way from addressing a crisis in housing that has seen the first-time buyer’s average age rise to 37, while housebuilding rates have stagnated.

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Rent increases by 12 percent under coalition

Tenants saw their rent increase by nearly 12 per cent between 2010 and 2012, according to analysis of figures by PricedOut, the campaign for affordable house prices.

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Help to Buy won't help the average first time buyer

rentingvshelptobuy.pngFirst-time buyers would be better off renting than buying a house under Help to Buy, according to new analysis of housing market figures by PricedOut, the campaign for affordable house prices.

Interest rates are so high under the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme that the monthly repayments for the average first-time buyer in England and Wales with a 5% deposit are more expensive than the monthly rent on an average home – by between £26 in the North East and £296 in London.

This means that it would be cheaper for people with a small deposit to continue renting and use the difference to keep saving – unless house prices rise by more than is predicted. Depending on the region, house prices would need to rise significantly – by 6% per year in the North West, by 34% in the South West and by 28% in London – for it to be worth using Help to Buy now. Despite this, PricedOut warns that the government is putting families under pressure to get on the ladder by taking on unaffordable levels of debt. 

 

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