Posts tagged ‘David Cameron’

Help to Buy helps 75 borrowers a day with offer on new home

The Help to Buy scheme is assisting 75 borrowers a day in their hunt for a new home, the first official figures reveal.


In total, more than 2,000 borrowers have put in offers on homes under the scheme, which helps those with a deposit of as little as 5 per cent.

So far, 10 of the 2,384 mortgage applications have completed, meaning borrowers have already moved into their homes, according to the figures published by the Government.

It means a total of £365m in new mortgage lending, with the average loan being £155,000 for houses worth £163,000. All of the applications have been via RBS and Lloyds.

More than three quarters of the applicants are first time buyers and many are in their early thirties, according to the statistics issued by the Government department Communities and Local Government.

Cameron_help_to_buyPrime Minister David Cameron said: “Four weeks in and it’s clear that Help to Buy is already delivering. In just one month, over 2,000 people have been accepted for a Help to Buy mortgage. Or put another way, 75 families every single day have been put on the path to owning their dream home.

“But the best thing about Help to Buy isn’t the statistics – it’s who is really benefiting. Most Help to Buy applicants are first-time buyers, young and have a roughly average household income. This is all about helping hardworking people get on the first rung of the property ladder – and helping them get on in life.

“Owning a home is about more than four walls to sleep at night. It’s about independence, self-reliance, moving on and moving up. Above all, it’s about aspiration. Help to Buy is helping people realise the dream of home ownership – and it’s a key part of my plan for Britain.”

The Government suggested applicants face average monthly repayments of around £900 and have an annual household income of around £45,000, meaning a Help to Buy mortgage represents 24 per cent of borrowers’ gross income.

It said applications were from across the country with more than three quarters coming from outside London and the South East.

The Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme offers lenders the option to purchase a Government guarantee on mortgages on both new build and existing homes, where a borrower has a deposit of between 5 per cent and 20 per cent.

Help to Buy

High Street banks including Natwest, RBS, Halifax (part of the Lloyds Banking Group) and Bank of Scotland have already started offering mortgages supported by the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme. HSBC, Barclays, Santander, Virgin Money and Aldermore have also confirmed they will join the scheme in the coming months.

Earlier this year, the Government launched the Help to Buy equity loan scheme, available to those who aspire to own a new build home, but struggle to access or afford the repayments on a low deposit mortgage. Under the scheme, the Government provides an equity loan worth up to 20 per cent of the value of a new build home, interest free for the first five years, to be repaid on sale or when the mortgage is repaid. The maximum home value is £600,000, and the scheme is open to first-time buyers as well as to those looking to move up the housing ladder.


November 11, 2013 at 11:21 AM 2 comments

Was 2010 a good year for you on the property market?

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

I’ve just had a very interesting conversation with Russell Winterburn, one of our research boffins here at FindaProperty. He’s put together this rather excellent graphic showing what’s been going on in the housing market over the past year. It also might go some of the way to explain why your home is probably worth less now than it was in January.

He picks out some of the main influencers on property searcher confidence over the past year. As you’ll see below, the year began with a little boost to consumer confidence coinciding with the UK crawling out of recession. Confidence dipped, Russell says, in February as house prices dropped for the first time since 2009. March and April saw consumer confidence hold steady as the stamp duty threshold is raised to £250,000 to stimulate the market.


Consumer confidence graphThere’s a dip again in May, with the election of the new Coalition Government as they promise to cut public sector debt and reel in spending, but by June, the removal of HIPs drives new vendors back to the market and we get a fillip.



consumer confidence graphIn July there’s a dip in consumer concerns as falling house prices begin to bite, but August sees a three month rise and then levelling off as the market picks up a little and several letting agents report their busiest September in over three years. Ongoing financial constraints continue to hit potential home buyers in November and research from the MyHomeLife panel shows 71 per cent of people think obtaining a mortgage is more difficult now than it was a year ago.


Irrespective of movements in the property sector, Russell tells me that consumers are likely to remember 2010 as a year of public sector spending cuts and one of restrained optimism.

December 16, 2010 at 4:20 PM 5 comments

CONFIRMATION: Grant Shapps Housing Minister

Grant Shapps, the Conservatives’ former shadow housing minister,  has confirmed, via his twitter page last night, that he has been appointed Minister of State for Housing.

It is understood that the role no longer has Cabinet status and therefore, unlike his Labour predecessor, he will not attend Cabinet meetings.

Is this, coupled with the time it took to make the appointment, an indication as to where housing is on the list of priorities?

Let us know your thoughts below.

A full guide to Cabinet members can be found here.

About Grant Shapps

Previous positions held

MP for Welwyn Hatfield, May 2005 –

Vice-Chairman of Conservative Party Campaigning, Dec 2005 –

Shadow Minister for Housing, June 2007 – May 2010

Proudest political achievement

Founding the Conservative Homelessness Foundation

Interests outside of politics

Aviation (holds a pilot’s licence)

Family life

Married to Belinda

Three children: Hadley and twins, Noa and Tabytha

Information taken from the Conservatives website

May 14, 2010 at 8:01 AM 1 comment

Five to View: Property in Witney

As David Cameron takes up residency in Downing Street, we take a look at the housing market in his constituency of Witney.

Before Dave, the Oxfordshire town’s main claim to fame was the high quality woollen blankets it has produced for several hundred years.

Now, however, its name will be forever wrapped up with that of the UK’s latest prime minister – only time will tell whether this new association will prove to be quite so cosy and long-lasting as Grantham’s was with Margaret Thatcher.

Here’s our pick of properties in Witney:

(Click on pics for more images & full property details)

1. Cabinets minister

Witney house for sale at £1,750,000 (Savills 0843 2810 956)

2. This red has to go!

Witney house for sale at £1,500,000 (Knight Frank 0843 2811 227)

3. White house

Witney house for sale at £975,000 (Savills 0843 2821 775)

4. True blue

Witney house for sale at £795,000 (Savills 0843 2821 775)

5. Ivy league, UK style

Witney house for sale at £540,000 (House Network 0843 3635 806)

May 13, 2010 at 11:54 AM 3 comments

Downing Street residences drop £462,420 to £4.5m under Brown

10 Downing Street is one of the most exclusive addresses in the country, with a valuation to match. It is more than likely that Number 10 is one of the few properties that will never come on to the property market and it takes millions of votes to secure the keys. Messrs Cameron and Clegg clearly have a struggle on their hands to wrestle those keys from Mr Brown who has been a Downing Street resident for twelve years now and will be very reluctant to call in the removal men.

So, with just over two weeks to go, the race is on amongst the party leaders to get their hands on a piece of prime real estate in the heart of London (SW1A) which we value at £4.5m. It’s worth noting that this figure is only for the official residential digs in Downing Street – which consists of 3,800 sq ft. Yes, surprisingly small.

Here are some other interesting facts relating to the official residences on Downing Street:

  • Winner will enjoy rent-free living which would otherwise run to £4,250 per week
  • Value of PM’s residence has dropped by £462,420 during Brown’s occupancy
  • Under Blair, Downing Street residence grew in value by avg. of over £335k p.a.
  • Brown and Major tenures reduced value versus growth under Blair and Thatcher
  • Stamp Duty  bill (if on open market) would be a whopping £225k (5% from April 2011)

In light of the current deficit the next Chancellor may be well advised to think about selling up and moving his boss’ official residence to one of the other Downing Streets across Britain. The most cost-effective move for taxpayers would be to Downing Street in Sutton-In-Ashfield where the average property costs £50,853. Alternatively, if commuting to Westminster is essential for the PM, a move to Downing Street in Farnham, Surrey, where the average property price is £253,528 would help pay down more than £4m of the budget deficit.

If there is a change in leadership over the next few weeks, Gordon Brown is likely to drop quite a few rungs on the property ladder as house prices in his own constituency of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath are amongst the lowest in the land at an average of £120,910 versus his current address in SW1 where average house prices are £920,361.

Cameron and Clegg will both be keen to upgrade to SW1 from their own constituencies where current values are £289,686 and £219,136 respectively.

Changes in value of official residential digs at 10 Downing Street, SW1A

Leader Arrival Value Departure Value Value  change Years in office Av. change p.a
Brown Years £5,037,251 £4,574,831 -£462,420 2.9 £165,150
Blair Years £1,644,558 £5,037,251 £3,392,693 10.10 £335,910
Major Years £1,804,952 £1,644,558 -£160,394 6.5 -£24,676
Thatcher years £692,602 £1,804,952 £1,112,350 11.6 £96,726


Take a look at our recent post on how the leaders, constituencies and parties perform from a property perspective.

Please feel free to share and use these figures; all we ask is that you credit the source as the and if possible link to

April 21, 2010 at 1:48 PM 1 comment

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