Focus on Help to Buy as housing minister visits Bury

Bury Times: Housing minister Kris Hopkins Housing minister Kris Hopkins

HOUSING Minister Kris Hopkins visited Bury to hear first hand how the government’s Help to Buy schemes, which were introduced to kick-start the area’s housing market, were working.

He met with Bury North MP David Nuttall and a group of housing professionals at the premises of Bury-based solicitors Crompton Halliwell where Mr Hopkins also met Joanne Grant and Chris Brogan, partners with the company.

Mr Nuttall said: “I am delighted that the Minister has taken time out of his busy schedule to listen to what those involved at the sharp end think about these new schemes. They are undoubtedly having an impact locally and many local people who are struggling to get on the housing ladder will be glad of them.”

The Help to Buy equity loan scheme for new build properties was launched in April and has seen 900 builders sign up to it and more than 18,000 house reservations made. More recently, the scheme was extended to cover homes up to £600,000 and the Government will provide a loan of up to 20 per cent of the purchase price, provided the purchaser pays a deposit of at least five per cent.

Mr Hopkins said: “I know the housing market is variable at the moment as there are small hotspots in London. Bury is currently experiencing some difficulties but the housing market is still recovering from the worst recession since the 1920s.

“Since the Prime Minister re-launched the Help to Buy scheme, backed by public and private finance to help make it work, there have been 13,000 properties bought to date. People perceive that the Government’s intervention is going to lead towards another housing bubble, but only seven per cent of all Help to Buy transactions have occurred in London, with more than nine out of 10 transactions being outside of London and its regions.”

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