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Schemes And Support For Buyers From Leading Housebuilder

Posted 26 April 2022 by Lizzie Leigh

We speak with Karly Williams, sales and marketing director at Barratt David Wilson North Thames…

We hear how Barratt’s Deposit Unlock Scheme is helping new home buyers take their first step on the housing ladder, and Karly Williams, sales and marketing director at Barratt David Wilson North Thames tells us how dog grooming is all part of the new home experience…

Karly, how long have you been with Barratt and have you always worked in property?

I have been with Barratt for 20 years and previously worked in an estate agency for a year alongside administration roles.

Barratt is the UK's largest housebuilder, what advantages do you think this gives to people who buy a new home from you?

Barratt is a well-established brand, and has been recognised as a 5-star housebuilder for 13 consecutive years. This offers buyers a sense of security, as they can trust that we build quality homes and provide excellent customer service. We also invest heavily into researching more efficient materials and technologies, building each home with the future in mind and putting a real emphasis on sustainability. Additionally, all of our homes come with a two year fixture and fittings warranty, and a 10 year structural warranty through the NHBC for further reassurance.

What sets us apart from other housebuilders is that not only are we building quality homes, but we are building genuine communities where people want to live and thrive. At Linmere in Houghton Regis, there are such a wide range of facilities – we have everything from co-working office spaces to a dog groomer, alongside sporting tracks and supermarkets. When customers buy a home from us, they are buying into the wider lifestyle available, and we often see buyers upsizing within the same development as they do not want to lose the established community we have created.

Are there areas in the UK that are clearly outperforming others?

Whilst I can’t comment on the whole UK, in our patch covering Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, we are seeing high volumes of buyers moving out of London and into the surrounding commutable areas. Whilst this exodus was initially driven by the pandemic, it is showing no signs of slowing down, particularly with families and first-time buyers who are seeking more for their money, alongside space for home offices and more outside space to enjoy.

Which schemes are you marketing at the moment and how are sales going?

We have a wide range of homes eligible under the Help to Buy scheme for first-time buyers this year, which continues to be popular as buyers seek to benefit from the scheme before it concludes. We also offer Home Reach, a part-buy part-rent scheme for first time buyers, and Deposit Unlock – both of which allow buyers to purchase a home with a smaller deposit. For existing homeowners, we also offer Part Exchange and MoveMaker, products that ensure a smoother move.

Sales continue to be strong across the division, and we are now selling homes due for late summer completion. Two years ago, this level of sales would have been inconceivable. I think the success of sales during the past two years is attributed to Barratt David Wilson diversifying its product mix to appeal to a much wider audience – from one-bedroom apartments right up to the five-bedroom family homes and everything else in between. This is something we are committed to continuing with all new phase launches, as it is so important to ensure a wide range of homes are available for consumers.

Last year, we saw the launch of the Deposit Unlock scheme, which Barratt is proud to be part of; can you tell us a bit about it?

Deposit Unlock is an innovative scheme devised in collaboration with lenders and the housebuilding industry, and is only available on new build homes. Whether the customer is a first-time buyer or an existing homeowner, they can buy their new home with just a 5% deposit. This lower deposit requirement truly makes the difference for so many people who simply cannot afford to save several years’ worth of salary to get a mortgage. Deposit Unlock provides customers with competitively priced mortgage products up to £750,000 and makes buying a new home more affordable. This is particularly important given the imminent departure of Help to Buy.

Can anybody take advantage of the scheme?

Yes, it really is open to anybody – from first-time buyers to second or third steppers, and anyone in between. Any new build home up to the value of £750,000 is eligible.

Do you think there's enough support out there generally for first-time buyers at the moment? How does Deposit Unlock compare against, say, the Rent to Buy scheme?

Deposit Unlock plugs a much needed gap in the market, particularly for existing homeowners who are often forgotten when new homebuying schemes are launched. It allows buyers to access competitive 95% mortgage rates without needing to consider additional costs in the future, such as paying interest on a Help to Buy equity loan or paying rent on top of a mortgage with Shared Ownership schemes.

Deposit Unlock is a scheme which only needs a 5% deposit from a buyer; are you offering it at any of your new home developments at the moment?

Yes, the scheme is available across all of our developments on any home up to the value of £750,000 – although access to the scheme is dependent on the mortgage lender.

What would be your advice to anybody looking to find out more about the Deposit Unlock scheme and where could they go to find out more information?

We have a dedicated page on our website that explains more about the scheme which can be found here. Alternatively, we would encourage buyers to get in contact with a sales advisor at any of our developments. They will be able to talk you through the scheme and put you in touch with a specialist new homes mortgage advisor who can help you determine whether this is the right approach for you.

And finally, what's in the pipeline for Barratt over the next 12 months?

Over the next 12 months, we have new phases of homes launching at a range of our developments including at Clipstone Park in Leighton Buzzard and at our flagship Kingsbrook development in Aylesbury. We are continuing to provide a high volume of stock to cater to every level of the market – from sleek apartments aimed at first-time buyers right up to the sprawling five-bedroom houses. We are also continuing to seek new land opportunities across the Home Counties, targeting areas with strong transport links and access to outside space.

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