NFB welcomes Help to Buy boost to construction growth

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) today welcomed Treasury figures showing that the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme is helping to drive residential construction growth, particularly in the regions.

The first set of comprehensive figures for the scheme show that 7,313 homes have been sold so far under the Help to Buy scheme, with one of the highest regional increases being in the north west. The figures support the initial aims of the scheme which is to help first time buyers and boost the housebuilding industry. The results do much to dispel criticism that the scheme has contributed to a house price bubble in London and the South East.

With 80 per cent of properties being sold to first time buyers and 95 per cent of purchases being outside London, the scheme is providing a lifeline to buyers who were finding it difficult to secure a mortgage. It has further provided stable development opportunities to the many small and medium-sized (SME) housebuilders operating regionally.

Small housebuilders built two-thirds of all new homes in 1988, but latest figures show that this has fallen to less than one fifth. This dramatic decline will only be reversed if the Government continues to take measures that support, rather than deter, SME housebuilders.

Welcoming the figures, James Hulme, strategic policy adviser for housebuilding at the NFB said:

“Today’s Treasury figures show that, far from creating a house price bubble, the Help to Buy scheme is helping to drive growth in the housebuilding sector while providing hard pressed first time buyers with the opportunity to buy their first home.

He went on to say:

“Schemes like Help to Buy and the Builders Finance Fund are key to unblocking stalled housing schemes and boosting small and medium-sized housebuilders. As we move towards the 2015 general election, it is our hope that boosting housing and SME-led development will continue to be key themes in all the major parties’ manifestos.”