After a a few problems and issues with his new home, despite the completion date being postponed by a month (6th December 2013), one unlucky buyer recently told us that Taylor Wimpey had constantly threatened him with legal proceedings on a daily basis. Amazingly Taylor Wimpey and both the respective solicitors allowed legal completion on his new home without the Help to Buy funding in place and later transferred to Taylor Wimpey – an underpayment shortfall of £44,000.
Mr K told us: “In the first week of January, we learned that our solicitor had not sent us the Help to Buy equity release form to sign. He played this down claiming it was a simple paperwork mix-up or oversight. Two days later, we received a call from Taylor Wimpey informing us that they are going to take us to court because for breach of contract as we have not provided the full funds on completion.”
“It transpired that the Help to Buy money had not been released to Taylor Wimpey and they cannot take our solicitor to court, they can only take us to court. The lady from Taylor Wimpey said that even if they did get the balance of the money, we had still breached the terms of our mortgage and they were going to report this to our lender and the mortgage would be revoked.”
“Next we then get a call from the lady who deals with Help to Buy (Radian homes) who inform us that the mortgage offer is incorrectly worded and needs to be changed, otherwise they cannot release the money to Taylor Wimpey. Our solicitor insists the mortgage offer doesn’t need to be changed, Help to Buy insist it does and in the meantime, Taylor Wimpey continue to call us on a daily basis threatening to take us to court.”
“Both Taylor Wimpey and Help to Buy say that our solicitor is incompetent. Our solicitor then suggests that they are both partly to blame as well. We are considering appointing a professional negligence solicitor to take over the file with Taylor Wimpey saying that if we did, that they would take us to court straight away.”
The country is £1.2trillion in debt. The national debt has tripled in the last 10 years and the cost of interest to service this debt is the fourth largest cost to the country, behind education, welfare and health. The interest payments on the national debt cost each of the 30 million UK taxpayers more than £1,650 a year. Yet this Chancellor appears to have “spare money” to give to house builders? In a little under a year, according to figures from the Home Builders Federation (HBF), 55,000 reservations have been made using Help to Buy. Now the scheme has been extended to 2020, at the current rate around 385,000 new homes could be sold using the Help to Buy state-subsidy.
The Bank of England interest rate has been stuck at 0.5% for five years now – the lowest rate for 300 years. Who has this benefited? The winners are – anyone with a mortgage they shouldn’t really be able to afford, companies looking for cheap debt and the government, which has been able to add to the national debt aided by the very low rates. Oh and those that own shares, especially house builders shares.
George Osborne has announced that the lunacy of his Help to Buy scheme for new-build homes is to be extended for a further FOUR YEARS to 2020, less than a year after it was first made available.
Those keen on the stock market can watch today as builders share prices soar still further on this latest announcement. Already share prices of Bovis, Crest and Persimmon are up around 4.5%. Remember this is taxpayer’s that are funding the five-year interest free loans, after we at least receive 1.75% on our money! This extension t0 the scheme will cost taxpayers a further £6billion! Also let us not forget that, at the same time, George Osborne is steadfastly refusing to raise the 40% income tax thresholds, despite calls from many in his own party as well as two ex-chancellors Nigel Lawson and Norman Lamont. Just over 1.7million paid the top rate threshold twenty years ago. Today that figure is 4.4million and is predicted to rise to 5million before the next election in 2015.
Despite housebuilder’s results last week reporting an average 16% increase in the number of homes they had built during 2013, house building output is actually 11.3% below pre financial crisis levels. The number of new homes started in 2013 was 122,590, the highest since 2007. But this is still HALF the number experts say are needed each year to meet housing demand, let alone addressing the shortages from previous years.
However, the number of new homes completed last year actually fell by 5% to 109,370. The Government’s schemes have not helped either, creating easier access to borrowed money resulting in boosted demand rather than increased supply, sending house prices soaring, especially in the south.
Home ownership has now fallen to its lowest level in 25 years. The number of people sleeping rough in England has increased by over 30% since 2010. The proportion of working households claiming housing benefit is now higher than 2010. Hardly a success story Mr Cameron! At the same time, the large plc housebuilder’s are returning cash piles generated from the record profit increases, to their shareholders.