Builders merchants trade association the Builders Merchants Federation has welcomed the early introduction of the second phase of the Government’s Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme.
Managing director John Newcomb said: “The second phase of the Help to Buy scheme relates to older, existing properties being bought and sold. The BMF sees this as important because the properties are more likely to be converted, extended or repaired. Merchants ought then to benefit from selling home improvement materials & products. Fortuitously, it coincides with the introduction of the BMF’s Trade Credit Finance Scheme that will enable participating merchants to extend additional credit to local builders allowing them to take full advantage of this increased refurbishment activity.”
However, he also sounded a note of caution, and that they have to reach the right balance between demand and supply: “As a country, we are building fewer than half the number of homes needed to meet population, demographic and lifestyle changes. To get the economy moving again, construction needs to recover. But our industry will only recover if confidence returns and the economy keeps moving.
“The last thing we want is a repeat of life before the 2008 crash – namely, a constrained housing supply that sends prices soaring, meaning homes become less & less affordable. That is in nobody’s long-term interest, and certainly not BMF members.
“Vigilance and fine tuning of Help to Buy is crucial to maintain equilibrium if we are to avoid a house price bubble. As with Quantitative Easing, Help to Buy needs to be handled very carefully.”