A young couple have paid tribute to the government scheme which has helped them buy and move into their first home.
Scott Woodcock and Katie Davies were one of the first to apply for the Welsh Government’s Help To Buy scheme when it was introduced just over 12 months ago and they are now the proud owners of a three-bedroomed house on Anwyl Homes’ Croes Atti estate, near Oakenholt, Flint.
To help them celebrate the success of their first home-buying venture Anwyl Homes Construction Manager Iain Murray dropped in with a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of bubbly for them.
Scott, 24, who works for an IT company in Chester, and Katie, 23, a behaviour support assistant at Flint High School, said that without Help To Buy and the support of Anwyl Homes they would still be paying more to live in rented accommodation.
Scott, originally from Connah’s Quay, said: “We came to the Croes Atti site last January to speak to Anwyl and see how realistic it was to get on the property ladder.
“They mentioned the Help To Buy scheme and talked us through it and even though we were looking at one of the smaller properties they helped us realise that we could go for this which has three double bedrooms, three bathrooms, a lovely big garden and is really finished to a very high quality.
“Without Help To Buy we would have had to put together a deposit of 20 per cent which was £30,000 and which was totally unrealistic at our age but instead we only had to find a five per cent deposit we are even paying less for our monthly mortgage than we were for rent.”
Mathew Anwyl, a Director of Anwyl Homes, said: “The Help To Buy scheme introduced in January 2014 has definitely made a difference to the housing market here in North Wales.
“The market for new homes in Wales had been depressed over the previous 12 months but it has been growing again and Help to Buy is accounting over 30 per cent of new purchases.
“As an industry we had been pressing the Welsh Government to follow England’s example in introducing Help to Buy and we’re delighted that they listened because it has given a shot in the arm to the construction sector.
“We now have active sites across North Wales and into Cheshire with major developments at Cross Atti in Oakenholt and at Northop, Rhyl and Abergele.
“This is creating more jobs and more apprenticeships and that is vital to create a strong and skilled workforce.
“It has been a very positive step and a limit of £300,000 on the value of a home has been set at an appropriate level to assist first-time buyers in getting onto the property ladder.”
Katie said: “It was wonderful when we were able to choose our house and to be able to pick things like the kitchen fittings and then watch the house being built.
“We moved in in July and it’s been finished to a really high standard and we’re really delighted with it because it’s big enough to be our home for some time and if we ever move we’d definitely choose an Anwyl home again.”
Scott added: “The quality of the build has been really good. We bought from plan so we have been able to watch it going up and it’s a home we could live in for a long time.”
The Croes Atti development will eventually be over 600 homes with open space and leisure areas with a first phase of 180 homes and it is part of plans to build over 400 homes over the next three years by Anwyl Construction, North Wales’s largest private housebuilder.
That represents a £40 million investment in the local economy by the award-winning company which has received planning permission for over 250 plots this year on sites throughout North Wales and Cheshire.
With a locally-based workforce and supply chains at least 80 per cent of that £40 million will stay in the area, mainly in wages, and with every £1 spent three times that means a £100 million plus bonanza for the region.
Anwyl are currently engaged in developments at new sites in Abergele, Northop Hall, Buckley, Port Dinorwic and Hoole, in Chester.