LETTER: Help to Buy has pushed up prices

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This email is in response to your article on Horsham house prices being less affordable to first time buyers. Firstly I can whole heartedly agree with this statement.

Myself and my partner Vicky were in the market for a house in the earlier part of last year, living in a two bed flat in Crawley and wanting to up-size to a house.

I work at Heathrow Airport and Vicky at Gatwick Airport but we wanted to stay in Sussex due to our love for the area and family being close by.

We decided we wanted a new build and due to the amount in the area we thought it would be a best bet.

We looked at Highwood and Wickhurst Green at two bed homes but felt they were over priced (over £250k) and we should see if we could get a three bed as we plan for kids in the future.

We moved our search area to Southwater and found the two new build sites there (Harvest Meadow by Bovis and Martindale Place by Barratt) a tad more reasonable with the former being the better priced one. We still found that Barratt were very expensive bearing in mind their same house styles were located in Crawley in Furnace Green (close to town centre) much cheaper than at the Southwater site.

We couldn’t afford anything over £250k due to stamp duty rise from one to three percent so thought Bovis were looking likely. They refused to budge on the price, despite us making clear we couldn’t afford anything over £250k, to take the house under the stamp duty threshold which put us back to square one thinking we wouldn’t get anything bigger than a two bed.

This was until an internet search showed Bysshop Meadow by Charles Church in Henfield. This was only ten minutes from Southwater and the houses seemed of a better standard and massively better value compared to the other major new builds in the area.

We were looked after from the get go and got a lovely end terrace three bed en suite house in the beautiful village of Henfield for under £250k. We could not be happier living here and would find it hard now to ever move out of Henfield.

We would have loved to have lived in Horsham or closer to, but being a 15 minute drive from the town in this beautiful village of Henfield is perfect.

We could not understand the price difference and felt it very unreasonable. It seems to have shot even further up with prices due to the Help to Buy schene.

I’m not sure this is helping people to buy their first property or upsize as it has massively bumped up house prices in the area. Why not bring back the no stamp duty for first time buyers which enabled me to buy that two bed flat in Crawley for myself back in 2011!

How can the district promote new young couples like us buying their first house or property with the continued rises? I for one have no idea and things need to change!

JAMES EASTON

Meadow Drive, Henfield