From speaking to our customers, we know that the vast majority (87%) want to own a home. After looking at previous schemes and the biggest problem was that the price of the house ran away as people were saving up the deposit.
When Michael Gove entered the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, he faced a list of familiar problems. Alongside cladding and the undersupply of housing, the need to help people onto the housing ladder has passed from one Minister to the next.
While schemes, such as shared ownership, offer buyers the chance to take their first steps, the deposit is still the biggest barrier to owning a home. That barrier will only increase with the cost of living rising.
Last year, we asked 1,674 people about their homeownership aspirations and almost half said the deposit was the biggest blocker. This number rose to 56% for 25 to 49 year olds, with 58% of that same age group saying they’re not able to buy in the next five years.
That’s why we created our deposit builder; to make homeownership a realistic ambition for many who thought it was out of reach.
Our deposit builder offers a price freeze and rent discount to simplify things for buyers and ensure the price of the house doesn’t run away. It also works alongside the Government’s ISA scheme with Home Group matching the government bonus once customers buy.
Unlike buying on the open market, the deposit builder makes rent work for our customers.
Deposit builder in action
One of our customers to use our deposit builder is Louise Berwick, 36, from Aspatria in Cumbria. She had always dreamed of owning her home but was finding it difficult.
Without Deposit Builder, I wouldn’t have ended up with the type of property I’ve got.
Louise says: “Owning my own home was what I wanted to do. I’d started saving but you just feel like you’re saving forever, and you think you’re just not getting anywhere, then house prices rise.
“The deposit was one of the biggest barriers. When you’re renting a property and you’re trying to save, it’s going to be difficult for anybody. You feel like it takes you twice as long compared to somebody who is living at home.
“I’ve been a tenant for over eight years and wanted to buy the property. I’m from the area and it’s a lovely quiet place; lovely property; big garden.
“This is home for me. I’ve been here for almost nine years and I only bought it last year, so I’d been renting for over eight years. That’s how much I liked it.
“Without the deposit builder, I wouldn’t have ended up with the type of property I’ve got. It felt like it was a massive achievement because normally people do that kind of thing together. That’s where you can save faster, with two lots of wages coming in, but I managed to achieve it on my own.
Leaving a legacy
Owning a home not only creates a place in the community that you love but also, gives a chance for children; for their families; for the future.
For Home Group, it helps us to build mixed tenure communities that make for strong, vibrant places to live for the future.
Prices are rising for everyone and there's no immediate end to the cost of living crisis in site. Innovative schemes, like Deposit Builder, can help a generation being punished by circumstances.
That's not a legacy any government wants to leave behind.
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