Helping the Boomerang Generation to Bounce Back

By Sue Warwick National Sales and Marketing Director of Miller Homes.

News of another off-spring of the credit crunch - "The Boomerang Generation".  According to housing charity Shelter an extra 111000 16-29 year olds moved back with their parents or simply stayed put in the 12 months to December 2008 largely because banks “want a bigger deposit from first time-buyers.”

Admittedly a certain percentage of this figure were forced back home because of worries over job security - but most experts are admitting that lender deposits are still the single biggest issue for under 30s camped out at their parents’ home.

The sad thing here is that they needn’t be.   Homebuy Direct was designed with this exact group  in mind – individuals households and families with a combined income of under £60000 and struggling to raise the funds required to meet today’s strict lending criteria.

Under the scheme house hunters purchase 100% of their home paying 70% of the value – with a developer such as Miller Homes and the Government equally funding the remaining 30%.  The 30% equity loan will only become repayable after 25 years or when the customer sells their home – whichever comes first.

For thousands of buyers it has been a dream come true.  But for thousands more the scheme simply hasn’t struck home.  They move back to their childhood home to save or never leave home in the first place because they think they can’t - and there they stay waiting for their fairy godmother to arrive and fly them onto the first rung of the property ladder.

For the lucky few the bank of mum and dad might step in but for the others the wait continues. 

So why hasn’t Homebuy direct registered with more of the 111000 Boomerangers of today?  It makes new home ownership more affordable more accessible and more achievable now than any point over previous years.

It gives young people the security they crave – a home of their own and – with Government backing – provides a sense of confidence that no other scheme can truly match.

In our experience when people look into the scheme they rarely walk away.  It’s that good.  It really is. 

In fact the vast majority of our sales right now are through shared equity schemes – be it our own MiWay or Homebuy Direct.

So any lack of uptake nationally must come down to publicity. People just aren’t as aware as they should be of the government schemes to help first time buyers.
This can’t go on.  Imagine if we end up in a situation whereby the Government hasn’t allocated all of its £400m Homebuy Direct funds before the deadline of March 2010. 

As things stand we can help the “Boomerang Generation” to bounce back from this recession and get a foot on the property ladder before prices starting rising again (and they will demand will guarantee it).  But first time buyers (and those in need of a helping hand) need to take action and seize the opportunity while it’s there.

So if you know one of the 111000 16-29 year olds who wants to fly the family nest but thinks they can’t - do everyone a favour and mention Homebuy Direct ideally with a Miller Homes plug on the side. 

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