Doncaster Voices: How best can we help locals access property ladder?

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Welcome to Doncaster Voices, your weekly forum. If you want to get involved, submit 150 words with name, title & photo to barbara.craythorn@jpress.co.uk - Your views may appear here next week when subject is ”What are Doncaster​‘s hidden gems we ​should s​hout​ ​loud about?”

MATTHEW KIRK, VALUATION MANAGER AT GALLEY PROPERTIES

As a local estate agent, I have never known a better time to purchase your first home. The majority of young people lack a deposit to allow them on the housing ladder, which prevents them from even considering gaining financial advice. The competition in the mortgage market, low rates and now the fact that stamp duty is no longer a hurdle, should be the catalyst for all first time buyers to consider their options. The key to accessing the property ladder is good financial advice, speak to an IFA, discuss options with several lenders and do your homework to gain the best rate. A healthy deposit, enables you to apply for a better rate but if you cannot rely on the bank of Mum and Dad or you are struggling to save, there are actually some 100% mortgages available, such as the springboard mortgage. Maybe 2018 is the year for you to make your first purchase, so whether you are renting, or living at home with parents, I would recommend making your move now before the rates and the house prices begin to creep up.

BILL MORRISON, EAST DONCASTER DEVELOPMENT TRUSTEES CHAIR

The market for first time buyers is a nightmare. The chancellor has made a start but we need more. I would suggest that first time buyers should get a government backed or guaranteed mortgage. Such funding could be channelled through local Authorities. Older people wanting to downsize could have homes purchased by the Authority thus releasing homes for young first time buyers and families. Another scheme that could be considered are extended mortgages say for a period of fifty years , if there is a outstanding balance at the end the property would revert back to public ownership until sold generating revenue for the state. More buy rent schemes should be encouraged to help fill the gap in housing needs. In reality whatever we do will only provide a sticking plaster approach the real answer is a major no holds barred building programme. Building is the only long term fix.

COUN GLYN GONES, CABINET MEMBER FOR HOUSING

One of the ways we can help more people access the property ladder is by building more suitable homes across Doncaster. Doncaster has seen the biggest delivery of housing in over fifteen years. In 2015 and 2016 more than a 1,000 new homes were built. The homes vary in size from one to four bedroom houses and bungalows. So there is something for everyone who wants to take that first step onto the property ladder.

“However, we cannot solve the issue of the housing shortage alone. Although the cost of housing in Doncaster is low compared to other places, it is still too expensive for some.

This is why it is vital that the Government take urgent action encouraging more house building across the country and directly tackle the broken housing market.”

ELLEN BEARDMORE, FIRST TIME BUYER

As a budding first time buyer, I wish I had the conclusive answer to this question!

As one half of a working couple who could afford a mortgage (it would be cheaper than our current rent) , but doesn’t have £30,000 lying around, the biggest problem is saving the deposit while paying the bills.

The Government’s Help to Buy scheme is great but more new housing schemes should offer lower deposits.

I also believe your ability to pay the mortgage and manage your finances should count for more than whether you have the good fortune to be given your deposit.

There has to be compromise and a reality check, too. We’re now setting our sights on buying a small flat in the right location, instead of a house, which is more achievable.

* If you would like your voice heard, get in touch, email chris.page@jpress.co.uk with 150 words, name and title and a photograph of yourself. Next week’s subject is: “What are Doncaster​‘s hidden gems we ​should s​hout​ ​loud about?

Following week’s subjects are:

14/12 What ​parking plan would best serve Doncaster residents & visitors?

21/12 Does ​Doncaster’s night time economy ​receive undeserved​ bad press?

28/12 How can we market Doncaster ​area attractions better ​for touris​m?