On the first anniversary of the Help to Buy – Wales scheme, Communities Minister, Lesley Griffiths, this week celebrated the completion of the 1,000th home supported by the initiative.
The Minister visited the Beeches Village housing development in Caerphilly and met with Leighton and Siân Steggles and their two sons Dylan and Ethan, who have all recently moved into their new home after receiving assistance through Help to Buy – Wales.
The £170 million scheme, which has been open for business for a year, is providing a welcome boost for buyers and builders alike by making home-ownership easier for people who have struggled to secure large cash deposits.
The scheme is on track to support the construction of 5,000 new homes across Wales and has received the backing of over 148 builders and thousands of aspiring home owners.
The Minister said: “I’d like to congratulate Leighton and Siân on purchasing their first home and wish them every success for the future. It’s wonderful to see how Welsh Government support is having such a positive impact on people’s lives. I’m delighted 1,000 homes have already been purchased with support from our Help to Buy – Wales scheme, with a further 400 properties in the immediate pipeline. As well as helping people buy a new home, the scheme has also proved to be great news for the industry, with builders of all sizes across Wales now offering Help to Buy – Wales shared equity loans on their properties.”
The new housing at The Beeches Village was delivered through a partnership between affordable housing developer Lovell and United Welsh, with the support of Caerphilly Council and the Welsh Government.
Leighton Steggles said: “We’d been renting for a few years and it was impossible for us to save the large deposit needed to buy our own home. Siân had worked out what we had spent on rent over the past eight years and that was a scary amount. The process for using the Help to Buy – Wales scheme was really straightforward and everything was explained to us very clearly by Lovell. It’s fantastic to have our own home and we’ve all settled in really well. We are only six minutes from the children’s school and the boys – who were sharing a bedroom before – now each have their own rooms, which they love.”
Mark Harris, Planning and Policy Adviser Wales at the Home Builders Federation said: “The biggest constraint on housing supply in Wales in recent years has been people’s inability to buy as they couldn’t afford the deposit required to secure a mortgage. The Help to Buy – Wales scheme has given a tremendous boost to homebuyers by allowing them to buy with a 5% deposit. And if people can buy, builders can build.
“The higher level of demand created by the scheme is allowing builders to increase house building activity in Wales. This will deliver desperately needed homes and boost the Welsh economy, creating jobs on construction sites and in the supply chain across Wales.”
Kate Rees, regional sales manager for Lovell said: “Help to Buy – Wales has made a huge difference for so many people – both first-time buyers and people looking to move up the housing ladder. We’ve seen ourselves how it can change lives, making it possible for people to own the home they want. We’re delighted that Leighton and Sîan and their family are enjoying life in their new home and wish them every happiness for the future.”
Chief executive of United Welsh Anthony Whittaker adds: “We are very proud of The Beeches development which is providing high-quality affordable housing in a popular area. It’s great to hear how much living here means and how it is helping people to realise their dreams of having their own place to call home.”