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Gloucestershire Business News

Boris Johnson applauds mortgage scheme on Gloucestershire visit

Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the property market as "generationally unfair" as he visited Gloucestershire to launch a scheme designed to help younger buyers.

He was speaking on a visit to Barratt Homes on the Great Oldbury development at Stonehouse with Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie to mark the first day of a government-guaranteed mortgage scheme for five per cent deposits.

He said: "I feel particularly for young people because 30 years ago when I was trying to get onto the property ladder it was far, far easier - the ratio of house prices to average incomes was far, far lower and I'm afraid the prices have gone up and up and up and people's ability to buy has not kept pace and we need to do something about it. So that's what we're doing.

"I think it will help people up and down the land. This is a wonderful development but there are opportunities across the country people are currently missing because they are forced into rent when they could be getting a mortgage.

"I hope people will take this scheme up. It's generationally unfair. People in their 50s, 60s, 70s above had it much, much easier."

Mr Johnson tried his hand at bricklaying with the help of Barratt apprentices Jack Smith, 17, from Tuffley and Oscar Graham, 18, from Bristol.

Praising the development, he said: "People want to live here. Why wouldn't you, it's beautiful? I think this area was voted the best place to live."

Announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak during the Budget, the five per cent scheme sees the Government offering lenders a guarantee for the remaining balance.

It is designed to provide an affordable route to home ownership.

The Chancellor said: "Every new homeowner and mover supports jobs right across the housing sector, but saving for a big enough deposit can be hard, especially for first-time buyers.

"By giving lenders the option of a government guarantee on 95 per cent mortgages, many more products will become available, boosting the sector, creating new jobs and helping people achieve their dream of owning their own home."

Lloyds, Santander, Barclays, HSBC and NatWest have launched mortgages under the scheme today with Virgin Money following next month.

NatWest's managing director of home buying and ownership Miguel Sard said: "We welcome the Government's new mortgage guarantee scheme to give further support to those with smaller deposits.

"For those customers, particularly younger or first-time buyers, saving up for a big deposit can often be difficult, and we know people in these groups are some of the hardest hit by the effects of the pandemic.

"A government-backed scheme will help segments of the market for whom home ownership has felt far out of reach in recent months."

Barratt Homes is building 262 homes as part of the Great Oldbury site at Stonehouse, developed by Robert Hitchins, which will eventually contain more than 1,300 houses.

Around 35 per cent will be affordable housing with a new school, mixed-used local centre, community hall, sports pitches and 9.3 hectares of employment land.

Barratt Homes Bristol managing director Russell Glimstead said it had been great to welcome the Prime Minister to the development.

He said: "We are roughly halfway through. The site has sold very well.

"There's lot of incentives for people to come out to buy. The new mortgage scheme is for all buyers up to £600,000 which is very positive."

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