The government is bringing forward the second phase of its Help to Buy scheme from January next year to next week, David Cameron has announced in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph. The government-backed mortgage scheme will allow people in England to get 95% mortgages on properties worth up to £600,000.
Speaking on the Andrew Marr show this morning, as the Tory party conference gets underway in Manchester, Cameron defended the scheme against the common criticism that it will further inflate a UK housing bubble.
“If you talk to people here in Manchester or Salford about a housing bubble, people will laugh in your face,” he told Marr, saying that outside London and the South East the average price of homes has only risen 0.8%. “Today the average family can’t afford the average house,” he said, adding that the problem wasn’t the housing market, but the mortgage market, with few people able to afford a deposit.
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said that the government should be investing in affordable housing instead, saying that “rising demand for housing must be matched with rising supply, but under this government housebuilding is at its lowest level since the 1920s.”