MORE than 200 home owners in the borough have got onto the property ladder by using the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, new figures have revealed.
A total of 204 families in West Cheshire have used the Government scheme to boost the property market.
The scheme was launched 14 months ago and since then, according to Government figures, 22,831 people in the UK have bought homes through the Help to Buy equity loan scheme.
Chester MP Stephen Mosley welcomed the news and said it was “a testament to a Government that is fixated on helping people achieve their ambitions”.
He said the scheme was playing a “key role” in the Coalition’s long-term economic plan, both helping people buy their own home but also boosting housebuilding and creating jobs in construction.
Mr Mosley said: “So many of the people I speak to in Chester aspire to own their own home.
“Four years ago, the housing market was broken as hard-working people who could afford a mortgage were locked out of home ownership because they couldn’t get the deposit together.
“That’s why Help to Buy has been so important – an essential part of our long-term economic plan to turn turning our economy around and secure Britain’s future.
“Fixing the broken housing market was essential to creating opportunities for the next generation.
“That’s why I’m so pleased that 86 per cent of the Help to Buy equity loans went to first-time buyers – people who need that extra bit of help to get on the housing ladder and have the security and comfort of their own home.”
But Labour’s prospective Parliamentary candidate for Chester, Chris Matheson, criticised the policy.
He said: “As is typical for this government, Help To Buy supports a few to the detriment of the many.
“It increases demand for houses, and rising demand for housing must be matched with rising supply if this scheme is to bring the cost of housing within the reach of most families in Chester.
“Instead, under this government house building fell to its lowest level in peacetime since the 1920s. Home ownership continues to fall.
“So help to buy just forces house prices up artificially and runs the risk of creating a house price bubble and so higher interest rates for everyone.
“Housing strategy in Chester under the Conservatives is driven by the needs of property developers, not local families,
“Most new housing is at the unaffordable high-end.
“We need a range of housing available, including more affordable housing to rent for those who choose that option.
“That’s why Labour is committed to building 200,000 new houses a year by 2020.”
l The Help to Buy equity loan scheme enables people to buy a newly-built home with a deposit of at least five per cent of the property price, while the Government offers a loan of up to 20 per cent.
The rest is covered by a mortgage. This portion of the scheme has been extended up to March 2020 with a further £6billion which the Government say will support the construction of up to 200,000 new homes.
See full story in the Chester Leader