The Help to Buy: Equity Loan Scheme getting first-time buyers on the property ladder is coming to an end this October, potentially foiling the plans of thousands hoping to secure their first home this year.
The loan has proven to be a huge hit among those buying their first property over the last year, due to the fact they can purchase a house with a 5% deposit, rather than the traditional 10%.
The government then gives a 20% deposit contribution for the first five years, completely interest free.
Through the loan, homeowners have also been able to purchase their property at 75% loan to value, which eventually unlocks better mortgage product deals down the line.
However, with the HTB scheme due to come to an end in March 2023, all new applications must be completed by October 31st this year.
Back in 2018, the government first announced that the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme would run from April 1st 2021 to March 31st 2023 and, according to the Gov.uk website, there are no plans to extend or replace it.
So as the deadline looms, prospective buyers here in Manchester are scrambling to get their finances in order and viewings booked in to take advantage of the scheme for one last time.
And one of the unlikely places accepting Help to Buy loans is HD Media City, which is allowing buyers – first-time and those already on the ladder – to snatch up its luxury apartments with a 5% deposit.
There are also 100 shared ownership units available, which is a good option for buyers wishing to purchase at a lower price point and with a smaller deposit.
But the Help to Buy scheme is the real star of the show for HD because, unlike similar flats in Manchester city centre, many of its one bedroom apartments fall below the HTB regional cap of £224k, allowing buyers to use the scheme to scoop up an apartment with only a 5% deposit.
Stephen Maskill, the regional sales manager at property developer Latimer, told Proper Manchester: “Almost all of the one bedroom apartments at High Definition fall under that regional cap, so it’s great that we can offer really nice luxury apartments with the Help to Buy scheme.
“It’s a very unique feature for this type of apartment to be available with that scheme.
“This month we’ve done several Help to Buy sales already, so it’s clearly very in demand, it’s proving to be very very popular.”
HD was born with a vision to create an affordable and community-led luxury living space in the heart of the exclusive Media City.
Stephen said that in the wake of the Covid pandemic, a strong sense of community was at the forefront of the vision when building and developing the apartments.
He explained: “After millions of people were stuck and isolated in their Homes during the Covid lockdowns, we really wanted to deliver a community-led space with co working and recreational facilities for all, as well as somewhere that encourages a healthy work-life balance for residents.”
Energy efficiency was also a priority during development, with each apartment having the highest EPC ratings possible amid the cost of living crisis.
Stephen said: “The EPC ratings in these apartments are exceptional, which means utility bills and heating bills will be extremely low and affordable because of how insulated and efficient the building is.”
As for the location, Stephen says now is the perfect time to invest in a home in Media City, which offers the ‘perfect mix’ of city centre living and suburban tranquility thanks to its acres of green spaces and cultural attractions, as well as its selection of restaurants and bars.
He also says Media City is anticipating ‘tens of millions of pounds worth of investment’ in the next couple of years, giving buyers all the more reason to get moved in while it’s affordable.
He explained: “Media City has had a lot of money pumped into it already, but there’s a huge amount of investment and development yet to come… It’s going to keep growing into a larger destination, and will become just like Manchester city centre by the time it’s finished.
“So buyers will be getting in at a good time where values and prices will be driven by the investment that’s coming into the area.”
And offering a bit of advice to first-time buyers hoping to secure their first home, Stephen said: “Buy now, and get yourself locked into a five year mortgage product deal. Future-proof what you’re going to be spending for the next five years on a mortgage.”
To find out more about HD Media City, the homes it has to offer and which payment plan will suit you best, visit the Latimer Homes website.
This huge £3m Lake District house could be yours for just £10
The competition is aiming to raise money for Cancer Research UK
An enviable £3m home in the heart of the Cumbrian Lake District is being auctioned off for as little as £10.
The gorgeous six-bedroom property is situated on the cusp of Lake Windermere, one of the most popular holiday destinations in the whole of the UK.
Not many people are able to call this location home but, now, you could become a permanent resident thanks to a unique million pound house draw.
Fundraising company Omaze is raffling off the fully-furnished house with bundled entries to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK, with the cheapest bundle being just £10 for fifteen entries.
Once selected at random, the winner will be handed the keys to the property, completely mortgage-free and with no stamp duty or conveyancing to pay. Omaze will also be giving the winner an extra £20,000 to help you them started, whether they decide to move straight in, use it as a holiday home or sell it for the money.
So, what does the house include?
The property sits in Bowness-On-Windermere and provides panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and Lake Windermere, the largest natural lake in England.
As mentioned earlier, the home will come fully furnished and features a large living area with a traditional wood burning stove and comfortable sofas and seating. There is also a handsomely sized kitchen with a breakfast bar and a number of modern appliances.
The property is ideal for hosting parties with a large twelve seater dining table, private cinema room and rustic indoor-outdoor BBQ kitchen, complete with a log burner and beautiful outdoor seating area.
Each of the six bedrooms come complete with king-size beds with sprung mattresses and contemporary headboards, two with en-suites and three with balconies. On the top floor sits a large en-suite penthouse which boasts the very best views of the Lake Distract.
And just when you thought this property couldn’t get any better, it also comes complete with a private gym, spa, sauna and steam room.
Entries close on March 27th and the winner will be announced on April 1st. And don’t feel too glum if you don’t win the house; there are also a number of ‘secondary’ prizes to be won, including a Mercedes G Wagon, a Jaguar F Type and cash prizes ranging up to £100,000.
For the full terms and conditions and to enter the competition, visit the Omaze website here.
Gary Neville’s new £200m St Michael’s neighbourhood development to begin construction in January
St Michael’s will boast a 41 storey tower with 191 hotel rooms, 181 apartments, and a 900 cover restaurant with city views
Gary Neville has announced that work on his ambitious £200m neighbourhood development St Michael’s will be getting underway in January 2022.
Plans for the highly-anticipated St Michael’s neighbourhood began back in 2016, though the development has been fourteen years in the making – the ex-Manchester United star said he is aware that many were sceptical it would ever come to fruition, but has insisted that the project is in ‘the home straight’.
And today, Neville has shared first-look graphics of what St Michaels will look like, writing on his social platforms: “Welcome to St Michaels , Manchester . We’ve just completed the deal to build phase 1 starting in January and can’t wait.”
The build will take place in two phases courtesy of a joint venture between Gary Neville’s Relentless and US investor KKR, with the first being delivered by contractor Bowmer & Kirkland and focusing on 185,000 sq ft of commercial space across nine floors at the site of the former police headquarters on Southmill Street.
The new office spaces will offer tenants their own designated roof space – which will boast impressive skyline views overlooking the Manchester Town Hall and Manchester Library – private terraces and areas for meetings and presentations, and interiors designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
They will also have access to increased cycle storage, and enhanced changing and showering facilities.
St Michaels will also house a huge public space billed to be a ‘hub of music, food, drink, and entertainment’, and is expected to generate 1,800 new jobs.
The second phase of the development will focus on the hospitality and residential elements in the form of a forty-one-storey tower with 191 hotel rooms and 181 apartments, as well as a 900 cover restaurant with city views.
Relentless and KKR are also aiming for high sustainability credentials, with the hope to achieve BREEAM Outstanding, five stars on NABERS and WELL Platinum status, which would make them some of the most eco-friendly and energy efficient spaces in the country.
Gary Neville said on the development: “This is such an important project for Manchester. We are really pleased to be announcing the start-on-site in what is another major step forward for this legacy scheme. The aim is to deliver a world class development for our city and the UK.
“Our team has worked tirelessly with our joint venture partner KKR, along with contractor B&K and Manchester City Council, and it is the dedication of these teams that has enabled the first phase to come to fruition in the new year.”
Manchester City Council are fully backing the development, with city council leader Bev Craig saying: “This is momentous news for the St Michael’s project. This development will be transformational for the Jackson Row area and confirmation that a start on site is imminent is very welcome.”
St Michael’s will begin phase one of building in January 2022, with an expected completion date in 2024. Head over to the St Michael’s website for news and updates.
Renters will no longer have to pay deposits under new tenancy scheme
There will still be some fees to look out for, however…
Tenants will no longer have to fork out for costly deposits when renting a home under a new tenancy scheme.
The majority of landlords require their tenants to put down a deposit in order to secure a property; on average, renters have to put down a £1,054 deposit to secure a tenancy, according to the Office for National Statistics.
But now, a new scheme launched by rent guarantor Housing Hand could very well be putting an end to expensive deposits.
Their scheme means that working professionals and students alike can move into a property without coughing up hundreds of pounds for a deposit.
Instead, renters will have to pay a £25 joining fee and and a one-off payment for the scheme.
The one-off charge is the equivalent of 20% of one month’s rent to Housing Hand, which is paid in monthly instalments stretched across the length of the tenancy.
For example: If you paid £500 rent a month for twelve months, you would need to pay £100 over one year – which works out at roughly £8.33 a month, plus the £25 fee up-front.
However, there’s a catch; landlords aren’t legally obliged to accepting Housing Hand as a rent guarantor, so there’s no guarantee they’ll agree to waiving a deposit.
Renters will also need to provide personal information in the application, such as proof of identity, proof of address, and evidence that you earn at least 1.5 times your share of the monthly rent if you are a working professional and not a student.
And, while Housing Hand says using the scheme will not affect your credit score, a missed rent payment means Housing Hand would pay the rent on your behalf, something renters would be required to pay back.
Oh, and tenants won’t get the fee they paid to Housing Hand back at the end of the tenancy, though I’m sure we can survive without £25.
However, experts have warned renters about using these type of schemes that offer the option to move in without a deposit.
Generation Rent deputy director Dan Wilson Craw said: “Renters should be careful about using schemes like this as they are not regulated and ultimately cost more than traditional deposit schemes as they aren’t refundable.
“We have heard from tenants who have used other deposit-free schemes and found that after paying for the coverage every month, they move out and are hit by a large claim for any damage or wear and tear that is very difficult to challenge.”
For more information, head over to the Housing Hand website.