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Dismal start for Homebuy scheme

The Government has revealed that fewer than 500 people have taken a mortgage in the first six months of its Openmarket Homebuy scheme designed to help first-time buyers and key workers.

It was initially claimed that the plan would help 20,000 more families get a property by 2010 but it is hopelessly short of that target with just 462 completions by the end of March.

The scheme has been criticised by Advantage, one of the four participating members, for being too complicated, meaning that many advisers are not completing deals.

The Department for Communities and Local Government launched the scheme last October with Advantage, Nationwide and Yorkshire Building Society as the original three members and Halifax joining in March.

Advantage managing director Keith Dearling says: “It has not been the success that the Government wanted it to be. It seems to be complicated for advisers and for the Homebuy agents that deal with the client and pass it to the IFA.

“There is a demand but advisers are not always closing the deal. Changes are required and if we are consulted, hopefully we will have some input.”

The DCLG puts the poor figures down to the scheme being in its infancy and the traditional housing market dip over Christmas.

A DCLG spokesman says: “There has been interest from over 10,000 people and more than half of the 462 completions came in March so things are improving.”


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