HOME OWNERSHIP IS AT ITS LOWEST since the 1980s, according to a report by the Resolution Foundation, and people in the West Midlands are among the worst hit in the country.
The news is especially damaging for first time buyers hoping to get a foot on the property ladder.
Alongside Manchester and Sheffield, the West Midlands is said to be among the hardest hit, suffering double digit drops in home ownership since numbers peaked in 2003.
Amid the gloom and confusion, many in the West Midlands are missing out on existing government schemes that were put in place to help.
Thursfields Solicitors’ Louise Jones says the government is still committed to helping, following the introduction of several initiatives that give a leg up to those struggling to find the ten per cent deposit lenders typically demand.
Louise says the government remains committed to building a million new homes by 2020 and, until 2021, there are four distinct packages it has introduced:
- Help To Buy: Equity Loan
- Help to Buy: Shared Ownership
- Help to Buy: Mortgage Guarantee
- Help To Buy: ISA
Thursfields’ head of residential property says the government will honour the schemes, but sympathises with those struggling to understand exactly what’s available.
“Brexit, a change of prime minister and reports on the state of the UK housing market make for an uncertain property market and uncertain buyers,” Louise says. “Even experienced property purchasers are unsure at the moment, let alone those who have never bought a house before.”
With around a decade’s experience of overseeing the purchase of new builds, Louise has a wealth of knowledge regarding a successful first deal. She also understands the financial pressure first time buyers are invariably under and advises they shop around for legal advice that suits them.
“Those taking advantage of the government schemes tend not to have excess funds available,” she explains. “For this reason, Thursfields charge a set fee (based on the price of the property) for the legal work required to purchase a property.
“In addition, we don’t charge any more for the extra work required to access the government’s Help To Buy schemes. This all helps those burdened with a number of expenses involved with buying a house,” she adds.