Over the past three years, as the market has accelerated rapidly out of recovery and into a more stable phase, we have expanded our business considerably to safeguard against future market fluctuations.
We now offer our customers a greater range of locations, home designs and financial packages to enable them to buy their ideal home; bringing our excellent reputation for providing high quality homes to a wider audience.
This has been made easier by the government taking steps to speed up the planning process and has enabled us to design and build the types of homes that communities want and need.
This year, we have launched our first product that is suitable for first time buyers at Woodlands View in Hastings, where the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme, (now extended to beyond the original March 2016 cut-off date to 2020,) is available to help new buyers onto the property ladder. The Government-backed Help to Buy scheme has provided the largest single boost to the UK property market in recent times, and its importance will continue for the next few years. Latest figures from the government show that nearly 120,000 people have bought their own home since the scheme was introduced, with more than 90,000 of those first-time buyers.
At the other end of the market, the changes to stamp duty at the end of last year have continued to be felt by buyers of larger more expensive homes and has meant that there is little incentive for those at the mid to high-end of the market to move and many are still struggling to recover from the recession. By widening our portfolio to include a broad range of individually designed homes from contemporary styled apartments to more traditional two and three storey homes to suit all levels of buyers, we hope to get the market moving again.