Council-backed homes scheme offers new way of helping first-time buyers on property ladder

Pictured are Brierley Homes directors Matt O’Neill, David Bowe, Karl Battersby and Barry Khan at its new development in Harrogate

A new housing development in the heart of Harrogate has opened the doors to its show home – and aims to unlock a new way of helping first-time buyers onto the property ladder.

Woodfield Square is a collection of two, three and four bedroom houses being brought to life by Brierley Homes, the property development arm of North Yorkshire County Council. All proceeds of sales re ploughed back into essential frontline services.

No fewer than seven of the 19 properties have already been sold off-plan after being launched to market by the specialist land and new homes team of Harrogate estate agent Linley & Simpson. The next phase is now poised to be released for sale.

The development comprises 11 two-bedroom, six three-bedroom, and a pair of four-bedroom homes, with prices ranging from £250,000 to £395,000.

All the remaining plots are available to purchase with potential help from a new lending initiative innovated by Generation Home as an alternative to the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, which is set to close in 2023.

David Waddington, Director of Land and New Homes in Harrogate, said: “This is a new initiative in the marketplace, designed to minimise disruption as Help to Buy winds down.

“It allows potential buyers to take advantage of the ‘bank of mum and dad’ and add a family member to their mortgage to afford more.

“Family members can build a stake in the property by helping with repayments or just remain on standby. And when the time is right, they can simply step away.

“This is the first of our new home developments where this option has been offered and we are confident it will fill a gap in the market and help people take their first step on the property ladder.

Will Rice, founder and chief executive at Generation Home, added: “The Help to Buy scheme has shown that first-time buyers are an underserved segment of the mortgage market.

“With the scheme coming to an end, it is important to provide additional support and alternative solutions.

“There is a huge untapped market of people with non-traditional funding arrangements, and we are proud to be serving that demographic with a unique solution.”

The product will be made available through the Harrogate team of the Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), whose Principal Andrew Milnes said: “Since 2013, buyers of new homes have been able to benefit from the hugely popular Help to Buy equity loan schemes.

“As the Government prepares to exit the scheme in 2023, it is encouraging to see the industry working with the private sector to offer alternative ways that buyers with low deposits or limited income can still achieve home ownership.

“MAB are at the forefront of bringing these various initiatives to market, and our partnership with Generation Home perfectly complements our proactive strategy to engage with new and innovative solutions to support first time buyers and builders.”

Woodfield Square is one a trio of new housing schemes in the Harrogate district being progressed by Brierley Homes. In total, 41 homes are being built at sites in Pateley Bridge and Marton-cum-Grafton as well as this one in Harrogate – all of which are being marketed through Linley & Simpson.

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