Winckworth Sherwood

UK 200 2013 position: 94

The latest on affordable home ownership schemes

Although we live in a country that has developed a strong tradition of home ownership in the last few decades, home ownership levels have declined in recent years. In 2001, 69 per cent of the households in England and Wales were owner-occupied — in 2011 this had dropped to 64 per cent. This fall could be due to a number of reasons, including high house prices and stricter requirements from mortgage lenders, particularly the need for purchasers to raise large deposits. Successive UK governments have been concerned about this decline in home ownership and have launched or supported numerous schemes to try and boost home ownership by making it more affordable.

Under the coalition government, there are now a number of government-backed schemes in existence with the intention of making home ownership more affordable and accessible to the general public (in addition to other schemes that focus on specific groups, such as Right to Buy or Right to Acquire, for council tenants and housing association tenants respectively).

The most recent of these initiatives is the government’s two-part Help to Buy scheme. First announced by the government in the 2013 Budget, Help to Buy is a three-year initiative that was introduced to tackle what the government considers a specific problem in the mortgage market…

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