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TMPE2018: Help to Buy driving developers to ditch flats for large houses – L&G MC

  • 15/11/2018
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TMPE2018: Help to Buy driving developers to ditch flats for large houses – L&G MC
Legal & General Mortgage Club director Kevin Roberts told the Mortgage and Protection Event that while Help to Buy had been a success, it had been largely responsible for builders building larger houses instead of smaller properties.


He also argued that next year will bring the start of real changes to technology in the mortgage market.

However Roberts emphasised that he did not feel automated advice was an immediate or likely threat as consumer research showed brokers were still highly valued.

And he revealed the mortgage club had just completed its largest month ever with October breaking £7bn in lending completions for the first time.


Help to Buy flipping properties built

Speaking to the audience in Manchester, Roberts highlighted the changes announced to the Help to Buy scheme in the Budget and noted its impact on properties being built.

“The trend for building flats is on the way down and the only properties on the rise are detached and semi-detached houses,” he said.

“You can probably guess why that is, we put it down to Help to Buy and that’s been a really positive thing.

“In 2017 81% of all first-time buyers were boosted in some way by Help to Buy, so it gives you a real sense of the value of it and how it is really trying to drive the new build market.”

Roberts welcomed the two-year extension and also the more targeted nature of the scheme from 2021.

“It’s a bit of a hard stop in 2023 so we’ve got four-five years, but we probably need to start thinking about what will be the drivers of new build in 2023,” he continued.

“We took it as good news that there’s some financial caps on Help to Buy and that it is more targeted for those people that it was probably intended for first of all.

“We think that’s quite a positive move,” he added.


Brokers offer fantastic service

Regarding technology in the mortgage process, Roberts said: “I don’t think robo-advice is coming soon. I came in and heard awful lot about robo-advice.

“You folks in the room offer a fantastic service and every consumer group we go to or research paper we read shows people want to buy off people, especially when it’s one of the largest financial transactions of their lives.

“So for all of the headlines you see, our feeling is robo-advice is not imminent.”

However, he added that while technology was is not going to be influencing advice, but it had to start influencing the process.

“2019 is the time technology talk stops and the technology walk starts to begin and it will pick up the pace quite rapidly,” he said.

“We think if we continue with the process we have today there’s room for distruptors to come in.

We want to champion how do we drive it further forward.”

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