It doesn’t do what it says on the tin….

After a recent report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors informing us that demand for houses rose to its highest level for more than three years after the April launch of Help To Buy, one has to ask what is exactly fuelling this sudden enthusiasm?  We may have the answer.  It appears that some developers are advertising properties 20% below the correct asking price, implying that the equity loan is a discount or free gift.  The latter phrase really gives me the Donald Trump; by definition, a gift is free, just as something cannot be ‘new and improved’.  It is either new, or improved, not both.  Anyway, back to the subject matter.  The worry is that people will take on debts that they do not understand or be encouraged to buy a house that they cannot afford. These schemes were designed to help those at the very bottom of the property ladder to make a start, not to buy houses that take them out of their budget comfort zone. Even Rightmove have acknowledged that their portal has been used to advertise an “indicative price”.  This type of nefarious activity comes as no surprise to those of us who have sold a property only to see it included in another agent’s sales figures.  Again, back to the subject matter.  If you are thinking of taking advantage of any of the recently launched Government schemes, ensure that you establish the true cost of the property.  Remember that during the boom years, some of the shenanigans of our industry left mortgage lenders nursing big losses and some people without a home.