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Press release - 9 December 2020

Help to Buy is changing at Port Loop

09 December 2020

Significant changes to the government’s Help to Buy scheme means many househunters could miss out on using the popular scheme at Port Loop, Birmingham.

The current scheme will be changing from 31st March 2021 but the final date for purchasers to put forward an application is 15th December 2020, leaving less than one week for people to reserve their new home under the existing Help to Buy criteria.

Proving incredibly popular at Port Loop to date, Help to Buy lowers the amount of deposit typically needed to purchase a new home. Under the initiative, buyers require just a 5% deposit and can benefit from up to 20% interest-free equity loan for 5 years from the government, meaning the mortgage amount to secure could be as low as 75%.

The changes to Help to Buy mean that it will no longer be available to people moving up the property ladder. Additionally, first time buyers will only be able to use the scheme on homes priced at £255,600 or less in the West Midlands. Currently, househunters can use Help to Buy on any new build home priced at £600,000 or less.

Guy Ackernley, commenting on behalf of Joint Venture partners Urban Splash and Places for People, said: “Help to Buy has proven extremely popular at Port Loop, helping many of our purchasers move from city centre apartments to a larger house with more space both inside and outside. I know that many of our homeowners have been surprised at the difference the scheme has made on propelling them up to that next rung of the property ladder. With that in mind, I think it’s important that potential buyers realise that time is running out for many purchasers to use Help to Buy.”

For example, on a Town House priced at £385,000 priced at Port Loop, buyers would need a minimum of 5% deposit, equating to £19,250, with up to 20% (£77,000) covered by the governments equity loan, and a commercial mortgage of the remaining 75% at £288,750. The property would be 100% owned by the new purchaser(s).

Nationally, Help to Buy has helped more than a quarter of a million people to buy a new home since it launched in 2013.

Commenting on the effects that 2020 has had on Port Loop, Guy said: “Despite 2020 being a challenging year for everyone, the past six months have been incredibly successful. Lockdown has helped bring our homeowners together, with neighbours connecting over cinema nights in the shared garden, enjoying a coffee and cake from The Floating Front Room and taking part in free canoeing lessons on the canal. This feeling of community, the amount of green space and the flexibility of our homes, has continued to attract people to Port Loop, with our first phases of Town Houses and Brick Houses now fully sold.”

The second phase of Town Houses is now available, with prices starting from £385,000. From 1st April 2021, Help to Buy will remain available for first time buyers on selected homes at Port Loop until 2023.

All the homes at Port Loop, which is located just a 20 minute walk from Brindleyplace, have easy access to the Birmingham and Worcester Canal, as well being on the doorstep of a new one acre park that was delivered by the JV last year. Additionally, each home either overlooks the canal or has access to a large shared garden.

Port Loop is being delivered by developers Urban Splash and Places for People, alongside the charity, Canal & River Trust, and Birmingham City Council. In total, Port Loop will deliver 1,150 new homes, in addition to new retail and leisure spaces. For further information visit port-loop.com.

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