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Graham Awards


Tories float plan for more long-term mortgages to boost house buying

The Conservatives are working on a series of schemes to help first time buyers to be unveiled at the Budget in March.

The Times reports that Housing Secretary Michael Gove says there will be “definitely” be schemes aimed at boosting demand from younger would-be buyers.

These include much longer term fixed rate mortgages with government guarantees against default - similar to loans currently available in the United States.


Gove tells the paper: “We have been asking the question, how can we ensure that people with decent incomes who are finding it difficult because of the scale of deposit required to get on the ladder?

“I don’t want to pre-empt anything but it’s about looking at some of the rigidities in the mortgage market that they don’t have in other jurisdictions.”

Other options include a new version of Help To Buy, which used to offer first time buyers equity loans for up to 40 per cent of the purchase price of properties with the need for only five per cent deposits.

The Times also speculates that the government is considering changes to stamp duty to help FTBs further.

YouGov polling for The Times shows only 11 per cent of 24 to 49 year olds say they will vote Conservative at the next election; 43 per cent of over-65s say they will.

Meanwhile the government used the New Year break to announce that the Budget will take place on March 6.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt has commissioned the independent Office for Budget Responsibility to prepare an economic and fiscal forecast to be presented to Parliament on the same day.

Just before Christmas the government reported that the UK economy shrank between July and September 2023. Gross domestic product contracted by 0.1 per cent in the third quarter.


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