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EXCLUSIVE: Scheme to help Scots buy first homes runs out of cash in days

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Updated: April 9, 2021, 8:47 am
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Thousands of young families are facing disappointment after a Scottish Government scheme to help first-time buyers ran out of cash in just eight days.
The flagship First Home Fund, which lends people up to £25,000 towards their deposit, was launched on April 1 but is already “fully committed” for 2021/22.
It is understood the initiative was closed on Thursday afternoon after being inundated with applications.
The budget for the fund was slashed from £200m last year to £60m this year, with Scottish ministers blaming a 66.5% cut in Financial Transactions from the Treasury.

OneDome reports record traffic and leads in March

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OneDome and Nethouseprices saw visits grow to 2.9 million in March, up from 2.7 million in February.
The business reported particularly strong interest from first-time buyers looking to benefit from the government’s 95% Mortgage Guarantee Scheme, available from April 2021.
According to OneDome, consumer engagement with properties online has been very strong, and is expected to remain so for at least the next six months.
Babek Ismayil, founder and chief executive of OneDome, said: “We are seeing a record volume of traffic, with high numbers of buyers and tenants searching on our websites.
“The month of April has also started very strongly and we are pleased to offer our agents a record volume of leads. We expect this trend to continue in the coming months.

Jeremy Duncombe: Regulators have an opportunity to reconsider stress tests

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There is an opportunity for regulators to reconsider the current mortgage stress test regulations, according to Jeremy Duncombe (pictured), director of intermediaries at Accord Mortgages.
As it currently stands, the stress test must be 3% higher than the prevailing rate at origination – normally the lender’s standard variable rate (SVR).
Duncombe believes that in order to increase support for borrowers, including first-time buyers, regulators could look to whether the current stress rate is still relevant and proportionate.
He went on to detail, however, that this outcome would only amount to part of the answer, rather than the entire solution.
Duncombe said: “Rates have remained lower than expected since the financial crash when the current stress test requirements were originated.

Personal finance: How the 2021 budget affects GPs

Personal finance: How the 2021 budget affects GPs
Specialist accountant Laurence Slavin highlights the key points from this month’s budget and how it might impact on GPs.
by Laurence Slavin
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One fifth of UK homeowners unable to remortgage due to pandemic

Households could see their monthly mortgage payments rise by hundreds of pounds each month on an SVR.
In the Budget on 3 March, the government confirmed the launch of a Mortgage Guarantee Scheme for lenders to small deposit holders.
One in five (19%) first-time buyers tried to buy a property however their deal fell through, compared to 14% who successfully bought a home.
When asked why the transaction did not complete, a 23% said their provider reduced their initial loan-to-income offer, 18% said their mortgage provider had increased their initial interest rate, and 18% claimed their mortgage lender asked for a larger deposit than originally required.

Hamptons: Rental growth outside London reaches highest figure on record

Rental growth outside London reached the highest figure on record since Hamptons’ Lettings Index began in 2012.

Rishi Sunak news: Budget contains a sting in the tail, warns taxation expert | Personal Finance | Finance

RISHI Sunak's budget contained a sting in the tail for taxpayers who will end up subsidising first-time homebuyers, a tax consultant has warned.

Mortgage enquires rise by over 400% | Mortgage Introducer

Mortgage enquires rose by 421% in the first week of March following the extension of the stamp duty holiday, according to MoneySuperMarket.

Northern Ireland most affordable region for FTBs

Northern Ireland is the most affordable region for first-time buyers according to Barclays.

First-time buyer affordability bounces back in February

The average maximum loan available to first-time buyers rose in February, according to the latest MBT Affordability Index.

Brokers fear negative impact of lockdown on sales

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More than half of brokers believe the latest lockdown will have a negative impact on property sales during 2021, research by Virgin Money has found. The lender says that 60 per cent of advisers are expecting home sales to be adversely affected, largely driven by concerns over finances according to 79 per cent of

Budget 21: SDLT holiday has "huge impact" on transactions

The stamp duty holiday has a huge impact on transactions as affordability is underpinned by lending according to Steve Goodall, managing director of e.surv.

Budget 21: Industry reacts to SDLT extension and Mortgage Guarantee Scheme

The news of the stamp duty holiday extension and Mortgage Guarantee Scheme in today's Budget has been widely welcomed by the industry but has also attracted some criticism.

Budget 21: Launch of Mortgage Guarantee Scheme confirmed

Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed the launch of a Mortgage Guarantee Scheme, to help those with lower deposits onto the housing ladder.

Budget 21: NatWest calls on lenders to support the market

NatWest is calling on lenders to support the wider market to ensure the benefits pass through to as many homebuyers as possible.

Budget 21: UK Finance reacts to the Budget | Mortgage Introducer

UK Finance has responded to the Chancellor's Budget this afternoon, with chief executive David Postings reacting to the various outlined measures.

A premium to be paid for the New Mortgage Guarantee Scheme?

Adam Hosker is director of Bespoke Finance
The mortgage guarantee scheme will give confidence to lenders returning 91%-95% LTV. Enabling households to purchase new build or existing homes. Helping first-time-buyers and existing homeowners alike.
The government will fully guarantee losses from lenders up to 80% of the purchase value. Then partially guarantee losses above that, up to 95% of lenders costs for up to seven years.
The eligibility is open to most purchases up to £600,000 purchase price on repayment mortgages. It won’t be available for buy-to-let, but no restrictions on landlords buying a new home.
The real restrictions will remain with mortgage lender criteria. With the new scheme doing nothing to alleviate affordability, unlike the Help-to-Buy scheme.

Budget 21: Can supply keep up with demand? | Mortgage Introducer

Following the introduction of the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme and stamp duty holiday extension in this afternoon's Budget, the industry have been discussing whether housing supply can keep up with demand.

Budget 21: Government should have revealed stamp duty plans sooner

The government should not have left it so late to announce the tapering of the stamp duty holiday according to Martijn van der Heijden, chief financial officer at Habito.

Budget 21: Government is "backing housebuilder over househunter"

The industry has been reacting to the launch of the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme in today’s Budget.

O'Neill Patient: Mortgage Guarantee Scheme will boost housing market

The Mortgage Guarantee Scheme will boost the housing market according to Andy Scaife, chief executive of O’Neill Patient.
During the Budget, the government confirmed the creation of a Mortgage Guarantee Scheme, which is designed to encourage lenders to lend at 95% LTV.
Scaife believes this scheme is a better option to stamp duty, as he believes it is a long-term solution rather than a short-term fix.
He said: “Of course, no-one wants to see a sharp drop in housing transactions following the end of the stamp duty holiday; and this 95% mortgage guarantee will be a good way to keep the market steady and help those with small deposits.

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