Do you think it’s becoming increasingly difficult to qualify for the Help to Buy scheme? Well, according to recent figures, the number of properties meeting the government’s criteria for financing under its programme has declined by 1.9% in England and Wales since its launch, a new study by Zoopla shows.
This drop in inventory, meanwhile, has brought along a 2.2% rise in average home values, the online property portal said.
The study suggests that the second phase of the scheme has not done much to encourage sellers of properties worth up to £600,000 into the market and that at present the average value of properties qualifying for the scheme stands at £227,010, up from £222,168 in October 2013.
The drop in the number of eligible properties has been the most significant in the South East of England, where there are currently 7.4% fewer homes that can be bought under the scheme. The average price of properties in the region, meanwhile, has gone up by 3.6% since October 2013 to £274,464.
In London, Zoopla estimated that the number of eligible properties has declined by 6.7% since the roll-out of the mortgage guarantee. The only regions to record an increase in the number of properties qualifying for the scheme are Wales and the Midlands, the research also found.
Brighton was the area suffering the largest drop in stock levels in the past six months, where house hunters can now choose from 15.8% fewer properties than in October.
The number of properties eligible for Help to Buy in Walsall and Stockport also saw substantial declines, of 14.9% and 14.7%, respectively. At the same time, Middlesbrough, Wirral and Newport have enjoyed a strong uptick in eligible stock, scoring respective rises of 38.7%, 37.4% and 25.5%.
It seems that the rise and fall of properties eligible for the scheme varies depending on region. How are things looking in your area? Have you checked to see if you are eligible?