Property bosses in the West Midlands have cautiously welcomed Budget proposals to extend the Help To Buy scheme.
The equity loan scheme, designed to get the property market moving, is being extended to 2020, Chancellor George Osborne announced.
Michael Brough, the Birmingham-based director who leads JLL’s residential services team in the Midlands, welcomed the move. However, he believes that adding four more years to the controversial initiative fails to address the biggest challenge facing home-buyers.
He said: “No-one could deny that HTB has had a dramatic impact on the house-building sector, which is great news for people looking to get on to the housing ladder and for the construction sector, which let’s not forget is still the biggest element of our manufacturing industry,” said Michael.
“However, unless this government - or the next - can persuade the High Street banks to start lending again on a significant scale, then when HTB ends in 2020, we’ll inevitably see another mortgage drought. We need the Chancellor to put real pressure on lenders to change their approach to the housing market.
“I also have concerns about the impact of HTB on housing prices. We’ve already seen them start to rise, and after another six years, they might well have been driven up so far that many people will have difficulty in affording homes once this initiative ends.”