'There's consistent demand' - Why Help To Buy is so popular in Norfolk

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Demand is high for the Help to Buy scheme in Norfolk. - Credit: Archant

New data has revealed that Norfolk is one of the most popular places in the country for the Help to Buy scheme.

Help to Buy is a government initiative which offers loans with the aim of helping first-time buyers purchase a newly-built home.

Research done by MoveStreets the week beginning November 5 this year has shown the demand and availability of Help to Buy eligible homes in the UK.

In Norfolk 61pc of homes eligible under the scheme are currently under contract or sold.

This is the second-highest level in the country.

The percentage of Norfolk homes that are available for Help to Buy is 3.3pc, the third-highest rate in the UK.

Tom Amis, from the new homes team at Savills in Norwich, said demand for Help to Buy properties has been "consistent" since the scheme started.

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"Even this year, when regional price caps were introduced and the scheme was limited to first-time buyers, that level of activity has shown no signs of slowing," he said. "We are expecting a spike in sales in 2022 as a combination of pent-up demand from the last 18 months and the last full year of Help to Buy provides incentive to purchase.  

"The government’s First Homes scheme could well plug the gap, but shared ownership is another alternative that is proving popular.

"Many developers are also offering their own incentives to help people onto the housing ladder."

Demand in Norfolk differs from neighbouring counties - Cambridgeshire and Suffolk have demand rates of 40.4pc and 35pc respectively.

The amount of eligible Norfolk homes available through Help to Buy is similar to that of other counties in East Anglia. 

Cambridgeshire has a 3.3pc availability and in Suffolk the rate is 3.6pc - the highest in the UK.

Russell Hill, board of management partner at William H Brown in Norwich, attributed the popularity of Help to Buy in Norfolk to the number of eligible homes.

"In Norfolk, there is a wide choice of new developments, so we have seen a high number of buyers taking advantage of the Help to Buy scheme. 

"Norfolk itself is becoming increasingly popular as more buyers are moving away from London to seek more rural settings.

"As an impact of the pandemic, buyers’ needs have changed and more rural settings have become popular due to the benefits of working from home.”

The original Help to Buy scheme was first launched in 2013 and ran until March 2021. 

A new scheme was then opened to first-time buyers only which will end on March 31, 2023. 

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