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15/08/2019
Help to Buy

The importance of the broker role is clear

  • Homes England credits brokers for good level of understanding amongst borrowers
  • Innovation will be needed to make the transition in 2023 as smooth as possible

Homes England is committed to working with brokers to ensure the success of the Help to Buy scheme continues, even once the initiative ends in 2023.

In a recent interview with Accord Mortgages, Andy Nelson, Head of Relationship Management at Homes England, acknowledged that during the first five years of Help to Buy, the scheme administrators didn’t engage with the broker world as much as they could have.

However, customer data and insight has highlighted that when buyers are asked ‘who was helpful in the buying process’, brokers are consistently name-checked, demonstrating the importance of brokers in raising awareness of the scheme and building industry support. There is now a concerted effort being made to gather broker feedback which will help ensure the best outcomes for first-time buyers struggling to get on the property ladder.

The comments, which can be heard in full on the latest Accord Growth Series podcast, also addressed industry concerns around house price inflation and soaring builder profits.

Nelson said that despite two National Audit Office reviews and two independent evaluations commissioned by the Government, there was no evidence the scheme had increased house prices, commenting “the scheme just isn’t big enough to inflate prices artificially.”

On builder profits, Nelson admitted that whilst Help to Buy has expanded the market by allowing builders to sell more homes to new buyers there are lots of other factors which contribute to profitability such as the cost of a site.

Nicola Alvarez, Corporate Account Manager – Proposition Development at Accord Mortgages, who interviewed Nelson, said: “With the end in sight for Help to Buy, we wanted to get Homes England’s views on the success of the scheme to date as well as what planning is in place to support the transition.
"We’ve had a huge variety of industry guests share their insight via The Growth Series podcasts and we hope this latest edition adds value to brokers whatever their experience of Help to Buy. Whilst there is still uncertainty around the impact the future changes will have, it was refreshing to hear that the organisation welcomes feedback and is actively engaging with brokers and lenders to help develop future innovation in the industry.”

Andy Nelson, Head of Relationship Management for Help to Buy at Homes England, said: “This was an excellent and enjoyable opportunity for us to engage further with brokers, who are a main route to accessing mortgage finance for Help to Buy customers, and often the ones singled out by our customers for praise in helping them navigate the path to home ownership.
“It’s important to engage closely at this time as the number of lenders involved in the scheme is growing. For some this will be their first entry into new-build lending, which is great news for customers who will be offered more choice of access points into the scheme. That’s why it was very helpful to be able to liaise with this key broker audience through the Accord Growth Series podcast as we all look to the future operation of Help to Buy under the Government’s renewed policy approach.”

To hear the podcast in full, please visit: https://blog.accordmortgages.com/podcast-24-help-to-buy-where-next

Brokers can sign up to receive the Growth Series material for free at: https://info.accordmortgages.com/growth-series

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