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Government Seek Bids For Build-To-Rent Scheme

Government Seek Bids For Build-To-Rent Scheme

Build-To-Rent scheme seeking bids from property developers to help bring about the fastest rate of affordable residential property construction for two decades 

UK Government Housing Minister, Mark Prisk, last week announced a second round of funding for the construction of new rental properties and the government are seeking fresh bids for a share of at least £400 Million (GBP) to build new properties specifically for the private rental sector (PRS).

The funding is part of the flagship £1 Billion (GBP) Build-To-Rent fund, which offers support for property developers and property investors who want to get into the private rental sector for the first time.

Mr Prisk said the new Build-To-Rent scheme would encourage investment in the UK’s private rental market and offer prospective tenants a greater choice of rental property. The scheme is intended to run alongside up to £10 Billion (GBP) in government housing guarantees.

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Property industry reaction to 2013 budget

Property industry reaction to 2013 budget

George Osborne’s spring 2013 budget included new measures to help more people purchase their own homes and this news has been generally welcomed by property industry professionals.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer firmly believes that the measures announced in the spring budget will provide a major boost for the UK economy, despite calls for an economic U-turn from the Labour opposition.

Mr Osborne told the press that there were far more difficult decisions still to be made regarding the nation’s spending in order to get the overall deficit down, however, the government are taking measures to help people buy their own home.

The Chancellor announced that the FirstBuy scheme which was aimed at First-Time Buyers (FTB) on an income of up to £60,000 (GBP) per year, is being replaced with a ‘Help to Buy’ equity loan scheme available to all buyers looking to purchase a new build home up to a value of £600,000 (GBP), with a deposit of just 5%.

A new mortgage guarantee scheme was also announced during the spring budget, which extends the previous NewBuy Guarantee initiative to include older residential properties as well as new-build homes, which he hopes will result in a sharp rise in lending to potential homebuyers, thus kick starting an upturn in the UK property market. The new scheme will start in January 2014.

Buy to let mortgages are not going to be included under the new scheme, however it remains unclear if existing property owners will be able to purchase property without selling leaving them with an income producing property asset when they offer their old home for rental.

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What’s in store for the UK residential property market in 2013?

What's In Store For The UK Property Market In 2013?

What’s In Store For The UK Property Market In 2013?

Many of the predictions made by property analysts have so far been reasonably positive in that the state of the UK property market can’t really get much worse.

2012 was a rollercoaster kind of year with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic and Paralympic Games having an effect on the market.

But overall UK residential property prices and property sales have been fairly stable, probably ending the year just higher than where they started, although by how much depends on whose figures you look at.

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The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have delivered a stinging attack on the coalition Government’s NewBuy mortgage scheme, suggesting it could wreck the entire housing market.

RICS are also calling for the regulation of all letting and property management agents, and the introduction of a single, UK regulation and redress scheme to be set up within 3 years.

The RICS says that NewBuy, which offers purchasers of new-build property 95% mortgages underwritten by taxpayers and developers, could reduce demand for ‘second-hand’ property and play havoc with lenders’ affordability calculations.

The RICS says that the NewBuy scheme may not even help first-time buyers when they come to buy second-hand properties because without stimulating the second-hand market as well as new-build, purchasing chains and overall transaction levels will begin to stagnate.

The institute is to include specific guidance to the valuers of new homes, to ensure that they understand the impact of NewBuy and make sure it ‘does not adversely impact the market’.

But while the RICS is calling on the Government to help local authorities introduce more Lend a Hand schemes, where buyers put down deposits of at least 5% and local authorities provide an indemnity of up to 20%, the organisation says the ‘dire state’ of local government finances makes this unlikely.

The RICS are also calling on the Government to amend the Estate Agents Act to bring all property letting and management agents within its scope, in terms of the need to have client money protection professional indemnity insurance and redress mechanisms.

The RICS says it will work with other bodies to establish by 2015 a single industry-wide regulation and independent redress scheme for the whole sector.

It also wants to see the Government encourage more investment in the private rented sector, including encouragement of ‘build to rent’ schemes, and for private tenants to be offered longer tenancies.

Elsewhere in its new housing policy, the RICS calls for VAT on all home repair, maintenance and improvement work to be cut to 5%, and for Stamp Duty to be reformed.

The RICS produced its new housing policy after consulting its members and will now lobby the Government.

Peter Bolton King, RICS global residential director, said: “To deliver real influence in the corridors of power, RICS needs to have clear residential policy. In putting this landmark work together, we met with our members and firms of all sizes from right across the country. What came across loud and clear is the desperate need to reform sections of the market and generate growth right across the UK. We will now take these recommendations to the Government with the aim of helping them to improve the residential property sector for those operating within the industry and the public as a whole. Change needs to happen if we are to see an economically viable and professionally driven residential sector, and I stand ready to work with members, government, other industry bodies and consumer organisations to achieve this.”

The Prime Minister David Cameron insists that the coalition Government’s plans to take a more pro-active role in the UK housing market is “absolutely right” in order to help struggling potential buyers to raise large deposits.

Speaking at a residential property construction site in Lewisham, Mr Cameron attempted to reassure people seeking mortgage advice, stating that the NewBuy Guarantee initiative will help “unblock” the housing market by providing 95% Loan-To-Value mortgages underwritten by homebuilders and the UK Government.

Three major mortgage providers have so far committed to the Government-backed NewBuy scheme.

Barclays, Nationwide Building Society and NatWest Home Loans intend to back the NewBuy scheme by offering products which will tie in with it. Santander and Halifax are also expected to begin offering similar mortgage products along the same lines at a later date.

The mortgage indemnity initiative will aim to help people invest in property even if they only have a deposit of 5% or 10%.

As well as helping people who are finding it tough to save towards 20% deposits, the project is designed to boost the construction sector by spurring demand for new-build properties.

First Time Buyers (FTB) looking to purchase homes in England worth up to £500,000 could be eligible for the scheme in the months to come. The Government will cover 5.5% of the value of each mortgage provided, while 3.5% will be covered by house builders.

Forecasts suggest that as many as 100,000 UK new build home buyers could gain mortgage funding through the scheme.

Mr Cameron said: “The problem today is we have lenders who are not lending so builders cannot build so the buyers cannot buy and it needs the government to step in and help unblock the market. The new scheme was absolutely right in attempting to lower the requirements to more affordable levels of between “£10,000 to £15,000” with the taxpayer and the construction industry underwriting the high loan-to-value (LTV) mortgages”.

However, as reported on “Spotlight” earlier this week, the scheme has already prompted heavy criticism from opposition parties.Read the full article here 

Labour’s shadow housing minister Jack Dromey was among the first to be openly critical of the mortgage indemnity scheme proposal, publicly stating that the Government needed to invest directly in the building of more new homes.

Some property industry pundits have labelled the scheme as a “gimmick” to boost the ailing UK construction sector.

Even some lenders remain fairly wary of the Government’s plans and are yet to sign up to the initiative, with only three major lenders signed up to take part so far.

Nonetheless, the Council of Mortgage Lenders has backed the scheme as “good news for home-buyers”.

The UK coalition Government’s NewBuy scheme was launched today, (12th March), aiming to provide a much needed boost for people seeking first-time buyer mortgages.

A recent survey by property portal Rightmove questioned over 2,726 potential house purchasers between March 5th and 7th 2012 about their awareness of the 95% NewBuy mortgages and how the new Government backed scheme might affect them.

Their results of the survey found that nearly 2 in every 5 first-time buyers believe that the introduction of the scheme means they are more likely to get on the housing ladder within the next 12 months.

The NewBuy scheme is available only on UK new-build properties.

However, some critics were already questioning the scheme before any official announcement was made.

Labour’s shadow housing minister Jack Dromey claimed that only 3 out of the original 7 lenders were participating, and that the number of developers in the scheme had fallen from 25 to 7.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders, which up until last week was unable to confirm whether the launch was even going to go ahead despite being co-architect of the scheme.

The CML issued a general, guarded statement, adding that it would issue further information when details of the scheme and participants were available.

CML Director General, Paul Smee, said: “NewBuy mortgages will help creditworthy borrowers who simply haven’t yet managed to build up a large enough deposit to gain access to finance to buy a newly-built home. NewBuy is good news for home-buyers, and potentially good news for jobs and the wider economy too. Borrowers need to understand the implications of high loan-to-value (LTV), borrowing, so we will be supporting the initiative with clear consumer information to help people decide whether NewBuy borrowing is an attractive option for them.”

The House Builders Federation (HBF) also issued a statement just days after it too had to admit it did not know for sure if today’s launch would go ahead.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the HBF, said: “NewBuy will help thousands of people to meet their aspirations to buy a new home, freeing up the housing market and helping first-time buyers and those unable to take the next step on the ladder. The scheme will also provide a vital kick-start for house builders large and small who will be able to build the homes and create the jobs that the country desperately needs.

According to the research by Rightmove, 38% of those looking to buy for the first time stated they would be more likely to purchase a home over the next 12 months once the scheme was launched.

The scheme could also benefit ‘second-steppers’ – those looking to sell and trade up for the first time – with 24% of respondents in this group stating they would be more likely to purchase over the next 12 months.

Rightmove director Miles Shipside said: “NewBuy looks set to give a significant housing boost to the fortunes of those who need it the most. We’ve found that raising a deposit has long been the major obstacle for those looking to purchase a new home at the foot of the housing ladder. NewBuy helps address this challenge, and we’ve found that the knock-on effect is that, as of today, nearly two in five first-time buyers will be more likely to getting on the housing ladder via thanks to this initiative. First-time buyers and second-steppers have long been frustrated in their efforts to get on to or move up the housing ladder by prohibitive deposit requirements. Four out of ten first-time buyers cited ‘raising enough of a deposit’ to be their single biggest housing market concern in our recent First-Time Buyer Report. NewBuy opens the door to these groups and can also serve as a great stimulus to help safeguard and create jobs in the new build property sector.”

The HSBC and Yorkshire and Clydesdale banks have already said they will not be participating, and neither LloydsTSB or Santander have deals ready although Nationwide has said it will have NewBuy deals available.

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