The Welsh Government has launched a ‘Help to Buy’ scheme valued at £170m, to support people to purchase new-build properties.
The mortgage guarantee scheme has been available in England for three months and its roll-out in Wales is expected to trigger purchases of nearly 5,000 new homes.
Welsh Minister for Housing and Regeneration Carl Sargeant was quoted by WalesOnline as saying that the scheme would offer a major boost to the country’s housing market.
"This is an important day for housing in Wales," Sargeant said. "From today many more people in Wales will be able to buy a brand new home thanks to Help to Buy Wales."
"This Welsh Government initiative will support the purchase of around 5,000 new homes in Wales during the next two and a half years. It will provide the Welsh housing market with essential momentum and create valuable jobs."
UK Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement that, within three months of the scheme being launched in England, more than 6,000 people have applied for a mortgage on a home. Around 750 applicants have completed their purchases.
"That is why as part of our long-term economic plan we introduced the Help to Buy scheme, so hard-working people with sufficient earnings can get on, fulfil their aspirations and enjoy the security of owning their own home," Cameron said.
The scheme will support responsible lending to households looking to purchase homes worth around £160,000, which remains below the UK average house price of £247,000.
According to the UK Government, once approved, the mortgages may represent about £1bn of new lending to home owners who have previously found the property market out-of-reach because of the size of deposit required.
New figures show that an additional 20,000 households have also been supported by the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme; a separate scheme with an interest-free loan option to support the purchase of a newly built home.
The government noted that house-building is currently growing at its fastest rate since 2008 and will remain a critical part of its economic recovery.
Image: UK Prime Minister David Cameron. Photo: courtesy of the UK Government.