The housing market in Bolton is being helped on the road to recovery with a raft of new purchase assistance schemes instigated by homebuilders who have had to find innovative ways to help customers buy their new homes.
At the forefront of this revolution in the industry is Bovis Homes, who have developments at Smithills Glade and Briarwood in Bolton and The Ferns in Farnworth offering one to four bedroom properties. The company have been particularly proactive in the last couple of years in teaming up with lenders to create affordable mortgage packages, especially for first-time buyers.
"When the housing market was hit by the recession, major housebuilders had to react quickly," said Bovis Homes Regional Sales Director Alison Tindle. "With many people struggling financially it wasn't enough just to build a quality home. You had to be about more than just bricks and mortar and Bovis Homes were proactive in going to lenders and exploring ways we could help people buy.
"So now when people come to our Bolton developments we're not only talking to them about our all-inclusive houses or how the cooker works - we're discussing how they could buy a new home with a deposit of just £3,250 and a monthly mortgage payment of less than £200.
"I think the current purchase assistance schemes out there create a pretty compelling argument for anyone who's hedging their bets on making that move. Why would you want to rent when you could get onto the property ladder in Bolton - and pay less than you would in rent each month?"
The company's portfolio of purchase assistance schemes has been further strengthened this summer with the introduction of the Government-backed FirstBuy scheme.
This is a shared equity mortgage package where a new home can be bought with just a 5% deposit and a 75% mortgage - with the Government's Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and Bovis Homes jointly providing the other 20% as an equity loan. First-time buyers can qualify if their household earnings are less than £60,000.
"We had to apply to the Government on a development by development basis and I'm delighted to say that we were successful with all three of our Bolton locations," said Alison. "High deposits have been identified as a major factor in preventing people getting on the property ladder and this is just one more scheme that helps to buck that trend.
"We've got another shared equity deal called Jumpstart which requires just a 5% mortgage and an exclusive package we've developed with Barclays called the Perfect 10 which needs a 10% deposit and has a fixed rate of just 3.79%.
"And if we're talking about helping buyers to save money you have to remember that buying new means you are getting a home which comes with a guarantee, will need less work than an older property and has been built with the latest materials and technology to make it more energy efficient and therefore cheaper to run."