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UK Property Outlook and The Impact of Help to Buy

Bank of England data showed that total net lending to individuals rose by £900m in March 2013, which is marginally below the six-month average of £1bn worth of increases, but remains just a fraction of levels seen before the financial crisis.

However, new mortgage lending in March fell to £400m, compared to £800m in February, a 50% drop for a month that is usually one of the busiest of the year. March's figure was also down around one-third on the six month average of £600m. According to the Centre for Economic Business Research (CEBR), the data suggests that 'banks are unwilling to lend and consumers are reluctant to take on debt. Moreover, high deposit requirements may have put many off applying for a mortgage altogether.'

The big question now is whether the Chancellor's new Help to Buy scheme, the first part of which was introduced in April, will spark the mortgage market back to life.

What is Help to Buy?
As from April this year, Government will provide 20% equity loans to assist the purchases of newly built homes in a move designed to stimulate new construction. A pot of up to £3.5bn of Government-funded equity loans is now available for buyers of new build homes that have just a 5% deposit.  

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