Estate agents expect H2B surge

The results showed that the majority of respondents support the Help to Buy scheme and expect that this government incentive will help to stimulate the property market.

Move with Us surveyed 186 estate agents across Great Britain to gauge their thoughts about the housing scheme.

When estate agents were asked if they believe it was right to bring the Help to Buy scheme forward from January 2014 to October 2013, 86% of agents agreed that this was a good policy decision.

A further 77% think the scheme will help increase sales during the typically quiet period in the housing market in the run up to Christmas.

However, according to the results, the government could have provided more useful explanatory information about the scheme.

Some 45% of estate agents feel that the government hasn’t supplied them with adequate information about Help to Buy with calls for information on the risks as well as the benefits for customers.

In particular, estate agents are finding that people want more information about what will happen in five years’ time if Help to Buy owners decide to move and a step-by-step guide on how the scheme works.

Robin King, director at Move with Us, said: “Estate agents predict positive sales figures in response to the Help to Buy scheme but we are still waiting to see the overwhelming flooding of the market that some news reports anticipated. This could be down to the restricted lender participation in the scheme to date.

“House prices are increasing naturally as we would expect in a recovering economy and it is likely the Help to Buy scheme will have a positive impact on property prices, generating more sales and creating more fluidity in the market.

“As a result, we expect to see an increase in house price values of between 5% and 8% in some regions as we enter 2014, however, this will be very much dependent on the banks’ ability to lend on mortgages and to fulfil their commitments to government schemes.

“If more lenders get involved buyers will have more options and will be able to use these incentives to purchase their first home or upscale to larger properties.”

When asked about signs of a housing bubble, local,

Adrian Woodcock, of independent estate agent Woodcock Holmes, said: “With the evidence that we have so far, we are cautiously optimistic that the market is set for improvement with the Help to Buy scheme and that confidence is returning to prospective buyers. We don’t believe the market is at risk of an over inflated housing bubble.

“We are still a long way from the market of 2007 and pricing the property correctly is still the key to achieving a successful sale.”

Andrew Willmer, of Lane and Homes estate agents, added: “There’s no sign of a housing bubble in Bedford at the moment.

“The local feeling is that people are waiting until next year and sounding out Help to Buy before they progress with their plans to purchase property but it’s actually a great time of year for sellers to put their house on the market and get ahead of the competition before the typical January rush.”