Mortgages

Homes England admits HTB Scheme didn't engage enough with brokers

Homes England also denied that the scheme had increased house prices.

Rozi Jones
|
15th August 2019
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"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 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.

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 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.

"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 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.”

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