Swindon-based specialist property law firm Hoffman Male is experiencing a large increase in the numbers of homebuyers contacting it to take advantage of the Government’s controversial Help-to-Buy schemes, which aim to encourage buyers back into the market.
The NewBuy scheme, launched in March last year, offers Government loans of up to 20% of the value of a newly-built home to first-time buyers.
A second phase, due to begin in January, will widen the scheme to include Government mortgage guarantees to those seeking to buy any home with a deposit of just 5% of the purchase price.
Some commentators have criticised the initiatives for potentially fuelling a house-price bubble while doing little to deal with a shortage of new homes.
Last week Swindon-based building society Nationwide’s regular housing market index showed prices rising by an average of 5% – the first time in six years values have gone up across the whole country.
House prices in the South West rose by 2.7% but the increase in London was 10% – a figure which has alarmed some economists.
And the Bank of England today revealed that the number of mortgages approved last month rose by 2.2% to a five-and-a-half year high of 62,226.
Mary Hoffman, pictured, partner at Hoffman Male, whose headquarters are at Windmill Hill, said the schemes are having an impact on the housing marking.
“The NewBuy scheme is really making a difference to those people who want to move into a newly-built property but need help with the deposit,” she said. “As with many Government initiatives, however, they are not straight-forward which is why people are coming to us, as property specialists, to help with their purchase.”
Hoffman Male opened a base in Bristol in June, partly in response to the growing demand from the new homes market there. Business at the new office, run by partner Yvette Morcombe, is brisk.
As well as conveyancing, Hoffman Male specialises in wills, probate and estate planning.