The Welsh Government’s Help to Buy, shared equity loan scheme, designed to support home ownership and stimulate the housing sector, should be re-launched in the face of declining take up by home buyers, the Welsh Liberal Democrats Housing Spokesperson, Peter Black, has said.
Mr.Black was speaking in the light of figures published today which showed that the number of completions utilising the scheme between January and April 2015 has fallen by 36% on the previous quarter. The number of completions for the final quarter of 2014 was 408, whereas the first three months of this year saw only 262 sales using the scheme completed.
There also appears to be a significant difference between areas in take-up. Rural areas such as Ynys Mon (7 completions since January 2014), Powys (9 completions since January 2014 ), and Ceredigion (5 completions since January 2014 ) appear to be struggling to keep up with the rest of Wales. The largest take-up of the scheme is in Flintshire, which has had 158 completions since January 2014.
Commenting on the figures, Mr. Black said: “Wales was much slower than England to embrace this scheme and as a result we are playing catch-up. However, the statistics published today indicate that it has had a mixed impact. I am pleased that Help to Buy has helped 1,378 families and individuals get on the housing ladder since January 2014, however take-up seems to be slowing down and that indicates a possible need to re-launch the scheme.
“Greater awareness of the availability of help to buy one’s home may well lead to more completions, whilst there would be a benefit from targeting publicity at those areas lagging behind the rest of Wales. This is a good scheme that is helping people buy their homes much earlier than they might do so otherwise. I am keen to see it be used more widely.”