A young couple relocating from Northern Ireland to a new home near Liverpool have become the first new homebuyers to complete under the Help to Buy scheme, an initiative launched by the Government on 1 April.
Catherine McClean (26), a nurse, and Nikolai Ivanovic (25), a former Queens Guard, have taken their first step on the property ladder by using Help to Buy to purchase a three bedroom semi-detached home at Taylor Wimpey’s Speakman Gardens development in Prescot.
Commenting on the success of the scheme, Housing Minister, Mark Prisk said, “I’m delighted that, just five weeks after the launch of Help to Buy in the Budget, the scheme’s first buyers are moving into their new property. I’d like to congratulate first time buyers Nikolai and Catherine as they move in, and wish them all the best for the future in their new home.”
Taylor Wimpey has seen an increase in visitor levels and new home reservations in 2013, driven by improvements in customer confidence and helped by the Government’s budget announcements, particularly Help to Buy.
Pete Redfern, Chief Executive of Taylor Wimpey, said, “The new Help to Buy housing measures have been welcome news for home hunters. We have seen significant increases in customer interest following its announcement and the scheme has already proven popular for those looking to get onto or move up the housing ladder. In fact, since its launch on 1 April, we have helped customers purchase, reserve or register their interest in an additional 300 homes.
“The measures announced by the Chancellor will help home builders get Britain building and add a welcome vibrancy to both the new and second hand market over the next three years. The country is desperately in need of more homes and we welcome the Government’s focus on addressing this.”
Catherine and Nikolai have become the very first new homebuyers in the country to complete under the Help to Buy scheme. The couple, who met at Liverpool train station, collected their keys to their new home on 29 April, having relocated from Newcastle in Northern Ireland.
Catherine said, “Help to Buy has been a massive help to us. We certainly wouldn’t be in the position we are now without it. It has enabled us to own our own property. I am the first person in my family to own my own home and I am immensely proud. We have been so lucky to have been given a helping hand to allow us to achieve this. ”
Nikolai added, “We did look at buying in Northern Ireland where Catherine grew up. We were saving our deposit and we even viewed homes there, but it didn’t feel right. So we reconsidered our options and what we wanted from our careers and searched the internet for homes in Liverpool. We saw Speakman Gardens and really liked the look of it so we rang up and started talking about our options.”
Kevin Belsham, sales director of Taylor Wimpey, said, “The new Help to Buy housing measures have already proved popular with those looking to get onto or move up the housing ladder. We’re delighted to have been able to assist Catherine and Nikolai to buy their first home at our Speakman Gardens development as the very first purchasers in the country to use the Help to Buy scheme. We wish them a very happy future in their new home.”
Andy Rose, chief executive of the Homes and Communities Agency which runs the Help to Buy scheme, said, “This is great news. We moved quickly to get Help to Buy up and running, and just four weeks after it launched we have our first completion. I wish Catherine and Nikolai every happiness in their new home.”
Catherine concluded, “It will just be so nice just to live together in our own home. I’m so excited.”
The Help to Buy initiative involves an equity loan scheme which is available on new build properties up to the value of £600,000. There is no salary cap for purchasers, and it is available to both first time buyers and existing home owners. Eligible purchasers receive a Government loan of 20%, which means that they only need to put down a 5% deposit and obtain a 75% loan-to-value mortgage.