Buying schemes for first-time buyers

YOU may have heard of the new government initiatives to assist first-time buyers by granting them a 20 per cent equity loan.

The scheme consists of a 75 per cent mortgage raised through a bank or a building society, 20 per cent by an equity loan from the government and only five per cent contribution from the purchaser.

Similarly we have heard noises made by politicians about simplifying planning rules, assisting national house builders and questioning the wisdom of the greenbelt concepts.

The above and many other schemes and plans are dreamt up to address the shortage of living accommodations.

This shortage has always been more acute and critical for younger peoples.

Apparently we have been missing on a big trick according to “easyroomate.co.uk”.

The website seems to suggest that potentially we can resolve accommodation shortages by renting out our spare rooms.

The web site has estimated that there is £69bn worth of rental income that we are missing on.

The web site is urging the government to raise the threshold of taxing this form of income to encourage people to take on lodgers.

Currently the “rent-a-room” tax relief is £4,250 a year. The cost of renting a room around the country varies considerably and can be as little as £200 per month to around £600 per month in London.

The estimated number of empty bedrooms throughout the country has been estimate at 13.7 million.

To appreciate the scale of the unoccupied rooms it would be worth mentioning that the total number of residential units in the UK is approximately 25 million.

Given the harsh reality of the world economic condition more and more people may be forced to supply this unused and hidden asset to the market.

The benefits of finding new friends and sharing the bills as well as getting a share of the 69 billion may be more tempting than having to put up with a few annoying habits.

n Article written by Mike Cosy, pictured, of Coseyhomes, trading as Cosey Rentals Chartered Surveyor, Civil Engineer and Building consultant.

n Cosey Rentals is regulated by the RICS.