There always seems to be stories around in the media about how first-time buyers are struggling to get on the property ladder but in areas like Bristol, developers are being particularly proactive in trying to bridge the affordability gap.

Amongst the new homes in Bristol which are on the market, you will often find some incentives or schemes that are designed to help aspiring property owners to achieve their dream of buying their own home.

Help from the government

The government's Help to Buy scheme is being used by a number of property developers throughout the country, in order make some new-builds more affordable to buyers with only a minimal deposit.

The scheme gives buyers the chance to buy a new home with a minimum 5% deposit of their own and then use the remaining 20% deposit paid by the government, to bridge the gap. The loan for this 20% deposit is actually interest-free for the first five years, which makes it very attractive for anyone looking to get on the property ladder that is eligible and only has a small deposit available.

After the first five years have elapsed on the loan, interest is charged on the 20% deposit at a rate of 1.75% and rising annually, in line with the Retail Price Index plus 1%.

This scheme is proving hugely popular with buyers and developers around the country and it helps to get people on the property ladder whilst also keeping the chain moving and allowing others to buy a bigger property when they start a family or just need more space.

Bridging the gap

Bristol (PD)According to figures, the gap between earnings and property prices in the Bristol area is one of the largest in the country.

Despite a changeable economic climate, the gap is still continuing on an upward trend, which is why aspiring home-buyers now need to be earning an average salary of at least £45,000 a year, in order to be able to afford an average-priced Bristol home, costing about £210,000.

Considering that the average salary for Bristol workers comes in at around £21,000, it is clear to see that many potential buyers are going to need a helping hand to bridge the affordability gap.

All in it together

As you will see when you take a look around Bristol, there are some very attractive housing developments available and many people consider the area to be a great place to live, where you can build a career and raise a family.

The fact that the average age of a first-time buyer in the city of Bristol is 37 years, shows you why fewer deals have been going through on properties that are on the lower rung of the property ladder, as buyers are having to delay their purchase until they have a large enough deposit.

With the banks, government and developers all working together to offer schemes that help people buy their own home, this can only be a positive aspect for the property market as a whole and of course, good news for those that need some financial assistance to buy their own home.

By Edward Carroll

Edward is a property consultant and investor. He enjoys staying on top of the latest trends in property. His articles mainly appear on property and investment blogs.

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