In an interview with Accord Mortgages, Andy Nelson, head of relationship management at Homes England, admitted that during the first five years of HTB, the scheme administrators did not engage with brokers as much as they could have.
However, customer data and insight has highlighted that when buyers are asked ‘who was helpful in the buying process’, brokers were repeatedly named, demonstrating the importance of advisers in raising awareness of the scheme.
As a result there will now be a “concerted effort” made to gather broker feedback.
Price inflation and profits
The interview, which can be heard in full on the latest Accord Growth Series podcast, also addressed industry concerns around house price inflation and builder profits.
Nelson said that despite two National Audit Office reviews and two independent evaluations commissioned by the government, there was no evidence the scheme had increased house prices, as he said, “the scheme just isn’t big enough to inflate prices artificially”.
On builder profits, he admitted that while Help to Buy had expanded the market by allowing builders to sell more homes to new buyers, there were other factors which contributed to profitability such as the cost of a site.
Nicola Alvarez, corporate account manager – proposition development at Accord Mortgages, who interviewed Nelson, said: “While there is still uncertainty around the impact the future changes will have, it was refreshing to hear that the organisation welcomes feedback and is actively engaging with brokers and lenders to help develop future innovation in the industry.”
Nelson, added: “It’s important to engage closely at this time as the number of lenders involved in the scheme is growing.
“For some this will be their first entry into new-build lending, which is great news for customers who will be offered more choice of access points into the scheme.”