The government should consider lowering the threshold towards the average house or flat price
Rather than diverting cheap credit lines from banks to help provide mortgages to homebuyers, the government really should be looking at lowering the current threshold of £600,000 for the Help to Buy scheme. This level is far in excess of the average house or flat price, currently £174,566. Lowering it to £450,000 in London and £350,000 outside the capital is still generous, and ensures that help is targeted at those that need it most. After all there is only a finite amount of money to support the sector in this way, so let’s ensure we make it last as long as possible.
It’s not in anybody’s interest for the housing market to overheat, least of all developers, as what we desperately need to fund and build future schemes is greater certainty. But let’s not forget the basic rule of demand and supply. The core reason for house price inflation is lack of supply. Put simply local authorities need to allow more development, and, when they do grant consent, need to resist from imposing swinging financial penalties which threaten the very viability of the homes we so desperately need.
Bob Weston, chairman and chief executive, Weston Homes