Set to close in December 2016, homebuyers have less than six months to take advantage of the Government’s Help To Buy: Mortgage Guarantee Scheme.

Home-buyers in Chelmsford have racked-up a total value of more than £43 million in loans supported by the mortgage guarantee scheme, according to analysis by Backhouse Solicitors. Chelmsford is in the top 40 percent of boroughs in Essex using the Government’s Help To Buy: mortgage guarantee scheme, with 200 Help To Buy loans completed since October 2013.

New figures released from the Office of National Statistics reveal that at over 2,600, Essex has the highest number of completed loans via the scheme in the East of England. Thurrock and Basildon have the highest proportion of completed Help To Buy mortgages relative to population, followed by Harlow, Braintree and Southend-on-Sea.

Nick Welch, head of conveyancing at Backhouse Solicitors, based in Chelmsford, said “Around 40% of households in Chelmsford are owned with a mortgage or loan. The conveyancers at Backhouse Solicitors have watched house prices in Chelmsford increase by almost 8% over the last year, and at the same time have seen the number of houses for sale in Chelmsford halve. This has obviously impacted affordability, especially for first-time buyers – it’s little wonder people have turned to the Help To Buy mortgage guarantee scheme in this area.”

  • Proportionately, the East of England has the third highest rate of uptake of mortgages completed (986) with the support of the scheme since its launch. The South East (excl. London) has the highest followed by the North West.
  • Basildon had the highest rate of uptake of mortgages that been completed with the support of the scheme (986) relative to population within Essex.

The Help To Buy: mortgage guarantee scheme was created to aid first-time buyers and home-movers with small deposits in getting a mortgage. Buyers need only a 5% deposit, while the Government will provide a further 15% guarantee to the mortgage lender encouraging mortgage companies to offer better rates to buyers, relieving some of the pressure – and cost – of moving home.

Nick Welch went on to say, Aside from the fees associated with taking out a mortgage, such as the valuation and arrangement fees, homebuyers must also budget for a HomeBuyer’s Report and Building Survey as well as the cost of a property solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legalities of buying a property. Add stamp duty and insurance to this, and it’s easy to see additional costs rack up to anything from £2,000 to £6,000 or more – far beyond just a deposit for a home.

Due to run until December 2016, the Government’s Help To Buy: mortgage guarantee scheme is recognised as the second phase of the Help To Buy scheme. The original or first phase, Help To Buy Equity Loans, launched in April 2013, was restricted to new builds only, valued at under £600,000 (or £300,000 in Wales), while the mortgage guarantee scheme has no new-build restriction.

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Media Contacts

Libby Bearman

0207 099 0945

Notes to editors

Statistics drawn from:

To read the implications of figures released from the Office of National Statistics, visit

About Backhouse Solicitors

Founded in 2005 by Minal Backhouse, Backhouse Solicitors has its roots as a specialist debt recovery and employment law solicitors firm offering high levels of expertise and service to individuals, businesses and their owners. Following a highly successful merger with Duffield Stunt Solicitors in June 2015, Backhouse Solicitors expanded their service offering to include Later Life Planning, Family Law and Conveyancing & Property Law. The Conveyancing team were the first in Chelmsford to qualify for the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme Accreditation (CQS), the mark of Excellence for the conveyancing process.