May 25 2013 Latest news:
By Simon Wesson, Reporter
Sunday, May 6, 2012
GOT enough money to pay a monthly mortgage bill, but cannot get on to the housing ladder due to the astronomical deposit fees being asked?
Well, a proposal offering first-time buyers 95 per cent mortgages is being planned by Hertfordshire County Council.
An initial £12m has been pumped into the Local Authority Mortgage Scheme by County Hall, after the cabinet gave the programme the thumbs up last week.
The scheme, to be launched in June, will be the first of its kind to cover the entire county.
Mike Parsons, the council’s director of resources and performance, said the county’s “attractiveness” meant it was difficult to get on the property ladder, but this scheme would ease the issue and social housing demand.
“While there is always an element of risk associated with investing in the housing market, we believe this is outweighed by the potential benefits,” he added.
Housing minister and Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps told the Welwyn Hatfield Times he was pleased with the “excellent” scheme, comparing it to the Government’s NewBuy Guarantee.
He added: “First-time buyers are naturally keen to be able to enjoy the same access to the housing market as their parents were able to do.
“Yet nowadays the average age of a first-time buyer is mid-30s.
“It’s frequently not that someone can’t afford to pay a mortgage, but that they can’t manage to get together the massive deposit required.”
Cecilie Booth, county council company director, added the initiative, designed to “bridge the gap”, will stimulate the housing market and benefit the wider economy.
She said: “The combination of relatively high house prices and understandable caution over lending from banks and building societies means that many potential first-time buyers are unable to save a sufficient deposit, even though they could afford mortgage repayments on a typical first home.”
Only first-time buyers with a minimum five per cent deposit who can meet the repayments will be eligible.
The potential buyer will also need to meet the normal criteria of the mortgage lender.