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Website needed to navigate government mortgage schemes – BSA

  • 21/11/2013
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Website needed to navigate government mortgage schemes – BSA
Aspiring first-time buyers should be provided with a single hub signposting prospective borrowers on to the most suitable government scheme, the Building Societies Association has said.

The mutual body is calling on the Chancellor to provide clearer communications about the different schemes on offer. In particular, it wants the government to create a single online hub where consumers can enter their requirements and be directed towards the most appropriate schemes.

BSA head of mortgage policy Paul Broadhead said: “What we think would be helpful from the government is to publicise it has a range of schemes and then direct consumers to the portal.

“If they are looking at the equity part of Help to Buy or shared ownership the portal would then probably push them towards the Homes and Communities Agency.”

While any portal would direct consumers towards online information provided by government agencies rather than brokers, he stressed there would still be a need for mortgage advice: “Clearly they will still have to get some mortgage advice, but at least they will know whether they are eligible [for a scheme].”

If the government takes the initiative in hosting such a portal, he suggested, private firms and other organisations could in time provide additional funds to support it.

The government already backs the Self Build Portal, where aspiring self-builders can search for plots of land, explore different routes to funding self-build projects and read the latest news on the sector.

Other proposals put forward in the BSA’s submission ahead of the Autumn Statement include replacing Stamp Duty’s ‘slab tax’ with a more progressive structure and providing more guidance on how the government will manage its exit from the Help to Buy schemes.

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