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NAEA Propertymark calls for Help to Buy to include secondhand homes

  • 03/02/2021
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NAEA Propertymark calls for Help to Buy to include secondhand homes
NAEA Propertymark has suggested widening Help to Buy to include secondhand homes, an extension of the stamp duty holiday and a mortgage guarantee scheme for key workers.


It wants the policies, among others, to be considered for the Spring Budget due to take place on 3 March.

The organisation said opening up the Help to Buy scheme to include older properties would boost house sales and allow more first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder. 

NAEA Propertymark said the main benefit of doing so would be a stimulation of the transaction chain. It proposed that including older properties and lived in new-builds would allow buyers who use the scheme to move to a larger, older home rather than being restricted to new properties alone. 

The organisation also suggested a six-month extension of the stamp duty holiday or a clarification that those who have already transacted would still be able to benefit from it.

This follows numerous calls from across the market to give buyers and sellers more time to benefit from the tax break, as well as a Parliamentary debate where MPs suggested a tapering off of the deadline rather than a clean cut-off date. 

NAEA Propertymark said the housing market had excelled since the holiday was announced, and extending it would support jobs in the sector as well as support those who still want to move home regardless of the pandemic. 

It also said the policy supported home ownership which boosted economic recovery and a sustained tax-free period would continue to maintain employment. 


Mortgage guarantee

The manifesto also suggested the introduction of a mortgage guarantee scheme for key workers.  

It said as key workers tend to be paid less than other employees and therefore take longer to raise a deposit, a 95 per cent loan to value (LTV) mortgage guarantee scheme would enable them to access properties in areas where their work is needed and would help recruit people into the necessary professions. 

NAEA Propertymark said such a scheme should be used alongside an initiative to offer key workers properties at a discounted price eligible on older homes rather than just new-builds. 

It also said the government should relaunch the Empty Homes Community Grants Programme, which ran for three years until 2015 and helped to bring empty homes back into use. 

The organisation said if such homes were brought back into use, it would lessen the need for new-build properties and avoid the emissions caused by developing new homes. 

To do this, NAEA Propertymark suggested a £200m Empty Homes Fund, similar to the £216m used when the initiative was last in place which led to the restoration of 9,044 homes. 


Private rental sector 

ARLA Propertymark also put forward some suggestions for the upcoming Budget including a financial support package to reduce Covid-related rent arrears through government guaranteed, interest-free loans. 

The organisation also proposed an increase of the Local Housing Allowance to the 50th percentile to cover the cost of rent in a local area. 

It called on the government to reopen courts so the backlog of housing cases could be cleared as well as a removal of the three per cent surcharge on second homes to encourage investment into the housing sector. 

Mark Hayward, chief policy adviser of Propertymark, said: The property market has remained remarkably resilient during the lockdown periods so far and the government has prioritised a functioning property market.  

However, there is still progress to be made and we’re calling upon the government to make these recommended changes in order to continue to support agents, landlords, consumers and the wider housing market.  

He said the impact of the stamp duty holiday ending could cause thousands of sales to fall through and have a “drastic effect” on the housing market following its recovery from the Covid-19 slump. 

Similarly, with the furlough scheme coming to an end in April, we’re growing increasingly worried about the financial fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. We know that many tenants are already struggling to afford rents which in turn has left landlords without a source of income.  

The government must introduce a financial support package to help support tenants and therefore landlords who have had their incomes impacted by Covid-19, he added. 


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