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The Help to Buy Scheme

Taking the first step on the London property ladder

Buying your first home in London is often believed to be beyond the reach of many young professionals – and it certainly isn’t easy. But softening house prices, record low mortgage interest rates, discounts from developers and the London Help to Buy scheme – mean that this could be the best opportunity many professionals will have to make their first move onto the property ladder.

We are working with an increasing numbers of first-time buyers keen to take advantage of the current situation, assisting them throughout the homebuying process, from helping them find the right type of property within their budget to navigating the Help to Buy scheme and the mortgage application process.

What is The Help to Buy Scheme?

The Government’s Help to Buy Scheme is aimed at first-time buyers and existing homeowners who wish to buy a new-build property, providing part of the equity needed in the form of a loan which means the buyer needs to borrow less from a mortgage company and needs a smaller deposit.

The Government will lend you up to 20% of the cost of a new- build home – or up to 40% for homes in Greater London because London properties are more expensive than in the rest of the country. You must put down a 5% deposit on a new-build property valued at up to £600,000.

You must not own any other property when you buy the new property. And you must not sub-let the property or enter a part-exchange deal with your old home.

For more information, go to www.helptobuylondon.co.uk

What should first-time buyers be aware of?And how can Benham & Reeves help?

Getting the best deals

Trawling through websites to uncover the most cost-effective options for buying your home can be daunting. For example, how do you know if you are being offered a competitive interest rate? What fees should you be paying?

You also need to accurately work out your budget – based on your salary, your deposit and any additional loan from the Help to Buy scheme.

If you’re spending up to £600,000 on a property, you want to make the right decisions – so expert advice is essential. We can work with you to make sure your paperwork is in order and you are getting the best deals.

Finding the right property

Next, the property itself. Where would you like to live – in which area and which Zone? How far from public transport do you need to be? What type of amenities would you like nearby?

Which new build developments are located in this area? Ideally, what type of facilities should they have – private parking, a gym, a concierge? What is the annual service charge? What is important to you?

We can provide expert knowledge when it comes to the property search, advising on suitable areas and developments within your budget – and your ideal commuting distance.

We work extensively with many Tier 1 developers so we can also negotiate on your behalf and help you take advantage of the many discounts currently on offer.

And we have a ‘little black book’ of trusted mortgage companies and solicitors who you may wish to work with to take care of the financial and legal side of matters.

Furnishing your new home

Finally, if you want your new hometo look its best, our professional furnishing company can supply stylish but economically priced furnishing packs to suit any budget and size of property. It’s a simple and surprisingly cost-effective way to furnish a new property from scratch.

Taking the first step

If you are considering buying your first home and would like someone you can trust to help you throughout every step of the process, then please get in touch with our sales team on 020 3280 6400 or email us. They can guide you throughout all the aspects of this important stage of your life and take the stress and worry out of this major financial investment.

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The London property sales market – September 2020

London is experiencing a real surge in demand for homes, as buyers take advantage of the current Stamp Duty holiday as well as historically low interest rates, both of which are contributing to the current boom in activity in the housing market. With pent up demand increasing during lockdown, the last few weeks have been exceptionally busy for us with interest building in the capital’s new residential developments and soaring enquiry levels from buyers. The number of valuations we are carrying out on behalf of sellers is also increasing significantly, with many more properties now coming to the market. Across the board there is a dramatic upturn in enquiries from investors and homeowners. In particular, properties priced at up to £600k are flying out, as they offer such good value for money. And most properties are achieving much closer to asking price than they were, even just before lockdown, as the Stamp Duty holiday is creating a real sense of urgency to complete purchases before the March 31st 2021 deadline. The lockdown has had a noticeable effect on the type of property that buyers are viewing. Many are now looking for something different – usually with more internal space – perhaps another bedroom which can be used as a workspace. Outside space is also becoming more important – a patio, terrace or balcony – in case we see another lockdown in the future. And these considerations apply whether the buyer is an investor looking to rent out the property or a homeowner planning to live there themselves.

Investment from overseas

Overseas investors are accounting for a lot of this increased activity. Many international buyers are returning to the UK property market, particularly investors from Asia – Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. The weakness of sterling continues to be a real advantage for these investors, who are finding that London property offers exceptional value right now.

Hong Kong buyers looking for London properties

Political unrest in Hong Kong is having a real impact on Hong Kong buyers. UK Home Secretary Priti Patel recently announced changes to immigration laws, meaning that Hong Kong citizens will have the right to work and study in the UK for up to five years and may eventually be able to seek British citizenship, prompting a surge in demand from Hong Kong citizens looking to invest in London. Often they are buying a property in London as an investment initially which they will rent out at first, but with a view to using the property as their own home in the future, depending on how the situation in Hong Kong evolves. Many have already discussed investment plans with friends and colleagues and as a result of their recommendations are enquiring about popular developments such as Nine Elms and Fulham Reach, as well as Canary Wharf generally – all of these are already well known investment opportunities amongst overseas buyers.

Investment hotspots

Other popular locations include Beaufort Park in Colindale where rental yields of up to 5% can still be achieved, while brand new developments in areas experiencing major regeneration such as Clarendon in Hornsey, N8 and Southall Waterside, are also attracting a lot of interest.

Get in touch

With such a lot of activity in the housing market right now, we have new opportunities coming in every day so whether you are looking to buy or sell a property in London, get in touch with me to find out how we can help you.  

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