Bolton house buyers make mortgage applications within hours of government's 'Help to Buy' scheme being announced
APPLICATIONS for mortgages were being made in Bolton “within hours” of the government announcing plans to stimulate the housing market.
Under the Help to Buy scheme, which was brought forward by ministers, first time home buyers can now apply for 95 per cent mortgages on properties valued at up to £600,000.
To help cope with the likely demand, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB have extended their opening hours.
The impact of the plan was immediate for one Bolton estate agent, reporting an application for a mortgage under the new scheme within the first hour of opening yesterday.
Chorley Old Road based Karen Ritchie said the latest announcement would have a positive effect on the housing market in Bolton.
She said: “We deal with older houses, so this scheme applies to us. It now means that whereas previously, people were coming to us to buy a home worth £100,000 and facing putting down a deposit of up to £15,000, they can now do it with just £5,000.
“We had our first, first time buyer applicant within the first hour of business yesterday.
“This is really good idea because it's always been the affordability of the deposit which has caused problems in the recent past and now that has been removed.
“Over the next 12 months what we would like to see is not a housing boom but an improving market, which in turn will hopefully help free up more houses for first time buyers.”
Shoppers in Bolton had mixed views of the new deposit scheme.
Valerie McKinnon, aged 64, from Halliwell, said: “I still don’t think this scheme will help people on to the housing ladder because they will still have to pay off additional money that they have not saved up, through a mortgage at added interest. That could be a problem given the level of job security and interest rates rising in future.”
Wendy Brown, aged 66, of Tonge Moor said: “At first sight it looks okay, but then you have to pay more in the end on the mortgage.”
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