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Two-thirds of housebuyers 'unaware' of NewBuy

A Barratt/ComRes survey has found that nearly two-thirds of UK housebuyers are unaware of a taxpayer-backed mortgage scheme, such as NewBuy.

The study also found that a shortage of homes for sale is the biggest barrier to house hunters, with mortgage availability and selling a home less difficult according to new research.

The Barratt Home Buyers study of 2,275 homebuyers in Britain showed an increase to 30 per cent of respondents claiming difficulty in finding available housing, while 5 per cent claimed it was easy.

A third of homebuyers reported that they have now been looking for a house for over six months.

A year ago, raising a deposit (39 per cent), finding a mortgage (30 per cent) and selling a home (35 per cent) were the main difficulties most often cited by the Barratt respondents. In the latest findings those experiencing difficulties finding a mortgage have halved (15 per cent) as have those experiencing difficulties selling an existing property (17 per cent).

Nearly two thirds (65 per cent) of homebuyers said that they were unaware of a tax-payer backed mortgage scheme, such as NewBuy, but 12 per cent of the sample were aware and intended to use the scheme. 

Barratt Developments chief executive Mark Clar said: “There has clearly been a shift in the market with a growing belief that the availability of mortgage finance has become a little easier – that’s got to be good news for homebuyers.

“However, customers are overestimating the size of the deposit that they would need, particularly as NewBuy becomes established in the market.

“The Barratt study also underlines how low the level of activity in the market remains with a scarcity of property to buy.  We are now steadily increasing production and this year we are likely to build more homes than at any time in last five years.

”In the last few years, we have invested 2 billion pounds in land and our priority is now to bring these new sites into production.”

Other findings from the study include:

Home ownership remains rated as important by 83pc of homebuyers - more so than marriage (61pc), having children (55pc), an active social life (41pc) and foreign holidays (34pc).

Residential property (50pc)  is overwhelming seen as the most likely type of investment to give the best financial return over the next 10 years far greater than shares (9pc), pensions (2pc) or cash ISAs (9pc).

First time buyers in London save for a deposit longer than in any other part of the country – 4.1 years (compared with 3.4 years nationally), to put down an average deposit of £42,000.  The average deposit saved by those polled across Britain was £26,000.

Homebuyers in Scotland rate job security as more important than homebuyers in any other part of Britain. 86 per cent of those polled in Scotland believe job security is either 8 or above in terms of importance out of 10, where 10 is very important. This is the second highest in terms of importance of all the areas tested. 

Homebuyers in the South East are putting the greatest amount of capital towards the purchase of their next property. On average those in the South East say that they will be putting £135,000 towards their next property.  This compares with on average £60,000 in the North West

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