23 Apr

Homebuy scheme extension welcomed

Homebuy scheme extension welcomed

The extension of the government's HomeBuy Direct scheme aimed at helping first-time buyers onto the property ladder has been welcomed.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling announced in his Budget speech that the scheme is to get an extra £80 million in funding, with 32,000 people having enquired about it since September last year.

This move was welcomed by Helen Adams, the managing director at first-time buyer services firm FirstRungNow.com, who said: "It is a start; it is a move in the right direction."

She noted that the take-up of the scheme so far has been less than hoped for, but suggested this might be down to wider issues about lending.

Measures to get the banks to provide more mortgages and also to underpin employment would help to support first-time buyers, she added.

As well as the HomeBuy scheme cash, the chancellor announced that the lowest threshold for stamp duty will remain at £175,000 for the rest of the year, instead of reverting to £125,000 in September as was originally planned.

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