Help to Who? Using the state to help to buy

Help to Who
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Date(s) - 05/06/2013
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Strategic Society Centre

A public debate on the government’s Help to Buy scheme.

Twitter hashtag: #helptowho

Speakers at this event will include:

  • John Stewart, Director of Economic Affairs, Home Builders Federation
  • Toby Lloyd, Head of Policy, Shelter
  • Dr Christian Hilber, Reader, Department of Geography and Environment, LSE
  • Chair: James Lloyd, Director, Strategic Society Centre

No sooner had Budget 2013 been published than commentators were attacking one of its most eye-catching measures: Help to Buy.

In addition to loans from the state to purchase new-build properties, this scheme will see first-time buyers and existing homeowners have loans for 20% of the value of their home purchase underwritten by the state.

Even before it is introduced, the scheme has resulted in heated argument over its merits and likely effects.

This event will therefore explore:

  • When is it the role of government to underwrite private mortgage lending?
  • Why are UK banks not offering higher loan-to-value mortgages? Is this a function of temporary institutional constraints or an assessment of UK house-price risk? How will lenders assess this risk when Help to Buy ends?
  • What outcomes are Help to Buy trying to achieve? Do these outcomes cohere with wider housing policy objectives?
  • What are the distributional consequences of Help to Buy? Who will benefit from the scheme? What does Help to Buy mean for the aspiration agenda?
  • What does international and historical experience tell us about the role of the state in financing private house purchases?

You can download a copy of the presentations from this event here.

Alternatively, you can view the slides below:

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