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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

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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Our well-trained sales negotiators are on-hand across London to help you

The London property sales market – July 2020

Since restrictions were lifted on the housing market in May, we’ve seen enquiry levels from buyers jump to above pre-Covid 19 levels. Currently, we’re receiving 7.5% more enquiries than in February. Well known property portals have also been reporting strong demand with Zoopla, for example, also reporting dramatic increases in enquiries in May, both for letting and sales. Of course, this is still a challenging time for the property industry and when the housing market was frozen in March there was a 70% drop in enquiries from buyers. But on the plus side this means that 30% of buyers’ enquiries held up. So while demand dropped, it did not dry up entirely, and we saw a number of transactions completing even during that difficult time – albeit with any viewings done remotely. We believe this is because the crisis was not caused by any fundamental weakness in the economy and that buyers continue to place their trust in property as a safe haven during a crisis. New enquiries, valuations and instructions all increasing As the housing market continues to settle down, new instructions, valuations and enquiries from potential buyers are increasing. We have been keeping in touch with clients throughout the crisis either by phone, Zoom or Whatsapp and the number of virtual viewings we’ve been doing has shot up. Of course, during the crisis, some buyers’ circumstances have changed. Some pulled out of transactions but many of these have come back to us now that things are settling down and they are now completing those transactions. Most properties that did fall through at the beginning have now sold again to a new buyer. There is still caution amongst investors of course. The possibility of job losses and a second spike of the virus remain. But throughout the lockdown buyers have continued to research new opportunities, with many seeing this as a good time to buy London property at a competitive price. Investors have been able to secure good discounts from developers while owner occupiers are taking advantage of interest rates which are at an all time low. We’re seeing a mix of overseas and domestic buyers. In particular, we’ve noticed a massive increase in interest from investors from Hong Kong and India recently. New developments One of the most ambitious new developments launching towards the end of 2020 is Southall Waterside, a huge area of regeneration in the London Borough of Ealing. It covers 88 acres, adjoins 90 acres of country park and is half a mile from Southall overground railway station from where you can get into Paddington in just 14 minutes. With its canalside location and many shops, restaurants and entertainment venues it is set to be a real game changer for homes in the local area. Studios start at £297,500. Webinar launching Southall Waterside We are holding a webinar on 15th and 16th July for Singapore and Malaysia based investors, launching Southall Waterside in conjunction with the developer Berkeley Homes. If you’re interested in this exciting new development, sign up to our webinars here. It takes place just before the official launch of the scheme later in July so it’s a good opportunity to find out more before you meet our team at your local exhibitions. We have more webinars for investors in other areas planned for August so if you’d like to find out more about the latest deals, again sign up here. Investment news at our webinars Our regular webinars continue to attract a lot of interest. On average, we’ve had nearly 900 investors registered for each one. In particular, the Question and Answer sessions have been met with much enthusiasm, giving clients the opportunity to receive direct answers to their queries at a time when we are unable to make our usual trips to visit overseas clients. It’s been great for us to talk to you and keep in touch until we can see you again face to face. Please get in touch In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding any aspect of buying London property, please contact our sales team.

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