In the last few weeks the second phase of the Help to Buy scheme has been launched, three months ahead of schedule and taking even Lenders by surprise. For those still not sure what this scheme entails, it is a Government guarantee to the lender of up to 15% of a property purchase, allowing a buyer, as long as they meet the lending criteria, to raise a 95% mortgage. It is available for purchases up to £600,000 and restricted to owner occupiers.
This scheme is controversial, mainly because it is a manufactured crutch to a property market that is no longer limping. . We are just coming out of the worst sustained period of activity in generations, and are witnessing a gentle and manageable market-led recovery, but purely for the sake of political timing during conference season, so the argument goes, the coalition has decided to provide direct assistance to encourage buyers even further. The worry for many is that in delivering this stimulus the Government has crossed the Rubicon from assistive enablers to direct meddlers in what is an unforgiving market.
The general cry is that control needs to be established by Government, the Bank of England and through Lenders’ self-regulation in order for demand not to get too carried away. Likely? We can only wait and see, but judging by recent brush-offs the coalition isn’t particularly worried about countering the monster that some fear it might have created .
The initial equity based assistance has proved to be a great stimulus across the UK at the lower end of the market, but whether Help to Buy will impact on our local market remains to be seen and it will be difficult to separate the impact of this initiative from a general improvement in market conditions unless, of course, it becomes evident from property professionals that there has been a huge uptake.
The main point to be made is that a healthy property market is one of sustained activity rather than surging prices and as long as there is a decent supply of available stock this should prevail over the sort of inflation that we saw in the pre-crunch days.
Whatever happens, Help to Buy is here for the next few years and at least it is a positive move, which after recent times is a welcome gesture.
With a name like Rural View you may think that we deal only with properties that have just that: panoramic views of chalk down land or Dorset combes. If only we did! Views are very popular and one’s heart often sinks when, as happens frequently, a prospective buyer lists a good view as their ‘absolute must have’.
Despite the fact that we live in a glorious part of the country with stunning, bucolic scenery many houses simply don’t benefit from such an outlook. We sell many fantastic properties in their own right, they may have lovely gardens and they may be in great locations, but they will not necessarily tick the box of the ‘view-searcher’.
So what is a good view worth to a house? The answer is that it varies wildly. Views come in many guises and some are often affected by blemishes which will make them marginal in terms of gain. One also has to remember that views can change so while South Wilts/North Dorset is largely protected from significant developments, especially in the AONB, smaller builds may still have an impact.
The other obvious is that an elevated view, especially to the south west normally brings the weather with it and you would be unlikely to escape the worst of the winds. This apart, however, there is little substitute for a far reaching view on a hazy summer’s day, or relaxing in your garden to the scene of a spectacular sunset, and this is what the ‘view-searcher’ dreams of.
I have known people pay significant premiums for a good house married to a good view but only because it ticks all the boxes. In general, any increase in value is more a reflection of overall environment, rather than the view itself, but it can be the icing on the cake and it will make the difference for many.