New-builds ‘leading regional housing market comeback’

By Linda Kirk, director of conveyancing, Adkirk Law

The new-build housing market is helping to lead the property sector back to pre-lockdown levels of activity across the region, according to conveyancing specialist Adkirk Law.

Linda Kirk, director of conveyancing at regional law firm Adkirk Law, said: “New build properties offer a 75 per cent loan to value mortgage for those buying on the Help to Buy scheme and those mortgages have still been available even when the lenders changed their criteria in lockdown. We’ve seen plenty of activity in this part of the market.

“We need to see whether this is sustainable through this next period and beyond for the longer term but there is certainly a feeling of confidence currently.”

Linda added: “First-time buyers may still be facing the barriers of access to finance and the flexibility of mortgages available but lenders should see the benefits of being more flexible in these circumstances.

“We need to see a stable market through this time for all concerned and the lenders can help ease the situation for many prospective buyers, particularly younger people, through the coronavirus crisis and beyond.”

Help to Buy is the government scheme designed to help people purchase a new property with just five per cent deposit by way of an equity loan from the government of up to 20 per cent. The aim of this scheme is to increase the supply of new homes in addition to the number of lower deposit mortgages.

For first time buyers, the 75 per cent mortgage for a new build property is an easier route to the housing market, while lenders are reluctant to release standard 95 per cent mortgages.

The property portal Zoopla has reported a surge in the number of people making active enquiries, with demand exceeding lockdown levels, while housebuilders including Taylor Wimpey have said they are seeing ‘more sustained demand.’