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Jeremy Hunt ditched 99% mortgage scheme due to negative equity fears

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt decided against launching a 99% mortgage scheme due to fears that it could push people into negative equity down the line. The scheme would have offered mortgages with a deposit of just 1%.

Speaking to MPs on the Treasury Committee, Hunt said: “I would have liked to have had some measures to help people get on the housing ladder but it is difficult to do that unless you are absolutely confident that property prices are back on the up, because otherwise you are encouraging people to get on the housing ladder with the prospect of house prices falling and therefore them falling into negative equity.”

The government’s Office for Budget Responsibility has predicted house price falls of 2.3% in 2024 and 0.4% in 2025 – so Hunt’s may have been correct to have his misgivings. Should the Conservatives remain in power after the next general election – something that seems unlikely – it seems first-time buyers could be given more support down the line.

Hunt added: “Is that something I would like to return to at future fiscal events? Absolutely.”

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