Property News

Help to Buy Houses Extinct in a Quarter of London Boroughs

Em Morley - December 21, 2017

Families are being priced out of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, as eligible houses have become extinct in a quarter of London boroughs, according to independent estate agent James Pendleton, which is based in the capital.

The Help to Buy London scheme is an equity loan provided by the Government that covers up to 40% of the cost of a new build home worth up to £600,000.

However, not a single house below the £600,000 threshold was found for sale in Camden, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Tower Hamlets, or Westminster.

Instead, buyers are forced to either limit their property search to flats or look further afield. In Barking, Lewisham and Southwark, just three houses were found for sale in each borough below the threshold, while there were four each in Greenwich and Wandsworth.

There were just 603 for sale London-wide, with Croydon boasting the most (59), followed closely by Richmond upon Thames (57).

Across the entire capital, there were 13,156 new build houses for sale above the £600,000 threshold, highlighting the severe shortage of appropriate properties being built for families in London.

In fact, houses account for just 2.7% of London’s new build property stock below £600,000, with one and two-bedroom flats making up the majority of the market.

Lucy Pendleton, the Founder Director of James Pendleton, says: “We know that house prices are overinflated in parts of the capital, but this research really highlights the scale of London’s property crisis for families.

“This research shows that, for those among them who need a leg up, a quarter of the capital is off limits.”

She continues: “With houses making up such a small proportion of London’s new build property stock below the Help to Buy threshold, the reality is that families will be forced to stay in cramped and uncomfortable accommodation.

“This is a hammer blow for a key demographic who desperately need the room and outside space a house can provide, but have to fight tooth and nail to secure a property in the right area, if any are available at all.”

Pendleton concludes: “Mass extinction of Help To Buy houses has begun, exacerbated by the upper threshold which hasn’t moved in four years, and contagion across the rest of London is inevitable.”