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Will the UK government's plan to buy empty homes work?

In a scheme which is set to cost the taxpayer around £400 million it has been announced that the UK government will offer interest-free loans to first-time buyers to cover deposits of up to 30% on new properties. This is the government's attempt to reduce the number of empty new homes across the UK and start to oil the wheels of the property market again.

It looks as though the scheme will be aimed at up to 18,000 middle and low income earners who will be eligible for the HomeBuy Direct Scheme. While there is no doubt that the first-time buyer market has been hit substantially over the last few months many people have reservations about using taxpayers money to prop up a market which is in effect flooded with properties. There are concerns it could create something of a false market within the property sector which could impact upon other buyers possibly not eligible for the scheme.

UK housing sales have fallen to their lowest level for 30 years and the Royal Society of Chartered Accountants for one has highlighted the fact the market is still very tough. The general consensus seems to be we will see further falls before the property market stabilises and eventually recovers.

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