The Welsh Government’s plans for its own version of the NewBuy scheme have been thrown into doubt after the UK-wide launch of Help to Buy.
NewBuy is only available in England but Wales was due to launch its version on 3 June. Scotland and Northern Ireland have already launched equivalents.
After the Budget unveiled a bigger UK-wide mortgage indemnity scheme, that will include second homes, the Welsh Government says it will redesign the scheme with no new deadline in place.
NewBuy offers lenders a 15 per cent guarantee on new-build homes where borrowers provide a 5 per cent deposit. The Help to Buy scheme, due to launch in January 2014, also offers lenders a 15 per cent guarantee for borrowers with 5 per cent deposits but is available on all homes worth up to £600,000.
A Welsh Government spokeswoman says it is committed to NewBuy but that it depends on the support of lenders, builders and scheme administrators. She says that if all parties indicate they are committed then it will continue with the scheme.
Welsh housing and regeneration minister Carl Sargeant says: “Due to the recent announcements made by the UK Government on new housing initiatives as part of the Budget on 20 March, and the detail which is yet to emerge, the Welsh mortgage guarantee scheme, NewBuy Cymru, will not now be taken forward as originally envisaged.
“We are currently working through the detail of the new Help to Buy schemes offered by the UK Government and working closely with our stakeholders to consider opportunities for Wales.”
Home Builders Federation head of communications Steve Turner says: “We are still pushing ahead with NewBuy in Wales. The UK Budget raised some questions but as far as we are concerned we are working to implement a scheme as quickly as possible.”
The Help to Buy shared equity loan scheme is not available in Wales but Sargeant is exploring whether to introduce a similar version. Money has been made available to Scotland and Wales to launch their own versions.
NewBuy is still available in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland but has come under fire from Labour after English figures showed it had only helped 1,500 borrowers in its first year compared to targets of 100,000 by 2015.