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Budget will be big help for homebuyers

"Not only will the scheme help first-time buyers, but it will help existing homeowners too. There are two elements to the scheme: the first offers shared-equity loans to anyone looking to buy a new build property. This is an extension of the existing First Buy Scheme which is only available to first-time buyers.

"The second element is the proposal to introduce a new mortgage guarantee scheme which will hopefully encourage more lenders to offer mortgages to those with smaller deposits.

"While mortgage rates have fallen significantly in recent months, the best deals are still only available to those with significant deposits – in many cases 40% or more. Under the mortgage guarantee scheme lenders can purchase a government guarantee that will protect them in the event of a borrower falling behind with their mortgage repayments and their home being repossessed. It is hoped this will make it easier for those with small deposits to get a mortgage.

"While there is still more detail yet to come out, the housing market in many parts of the country is pretty much stagnant so anything to help get it moving again is good news – particularly to those who can’t sell their homes."

Meanwhile, Shelter’s Chief Executive Campbell Robb was more critical.

He said: "House building is currently at its lowest levels for almost a century. This Budget was a huge missed opportunity to build enough homes to make sure our children will have a stable and affordable place of their own. Helping a small number of first-time buyers today will do little to meet the aspirations of young families tomorrow."

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