Property scheme set to boost market

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One third of people who plan to buy homes in the coming months hope to benefit from the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, a study has found.

The research by Santander suggested that Help to Buy, which is set to boost the housing market next week, has become a “major cause of increased confidence” as Britons become more optimistic about home buying.

About 10 per cent of those surveyed, the equivalent of 5.1 million across the UK, believe they are likely to buy homes in the next year, up from 8 per cent similar research carried out in January 2012.

One third (33 per cent) of these people, which could equal about 1.7 million buyers countrywide, said they would use the scheme.

Younger people were most likely to be intending to buy, with 18 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds saying they plan to purchase homes in the next 12 months.

Londoners were found to be the most confident about their chances of buying homes in the next 12 months, with one fifth (20 per cent) saying they are likely to do so. At the other end of the scale, just one in 50 people (2 per cent) surveyed in Wales intend to purchase a property in the next year.

Some 9 per cent of people in Scotland intend to buy in the next year, while in Northern Ireland, where property prices are only just starting to see signs of turning around following the financial crisis, this figure was 5 per cent.

Mortgage availability has sharply increased over the last year following previous government schemes.

However, experts have warned that many aspiring home-owners may be disappointed as they still face tough checks by lenders.