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August's base rate rise, Bank of England governor Mark Carney's warnings of a potential property price plunge and general anxiety still lingering aroundBrexit, you could be forgiven for feeling negative about the current state of the property market.

But a quick look at the numbers will show there's hardly ever been a better time to be hunting for a mortgage - whether you're a first-time buyer, remortgaging, or looking to get into buy-to-let - rates have scarcely ever been lower.

Not only are rates dropping, lenders are also expanding their product ranges into areas that they previously might not have considered.

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NatWest has launched a new range of Help to Buy remortgage deals for customers wishing to move their Help to Buy mortgage to the lender, allowing customers to remortgage without having to pay off their shared equity loan at the same time.

The bank is launching a range of fee and no fee versions, including a headline two-year 60 per cent loan-to-value fixed rate of 1.85 per cent with £500 cashback.

Also available are five-year fixed rates at 75 per cent loan-to-value, with the option of £500 cashback at 3.59 per cent or a £995 fee at 2.26 per cent. To qualify, you'll need a minimum 25 per cent deposit made up of your own equity and the Help to Buy loan. 

Bluestone, a specialist lender available through mortgage brokers, has also just introduced a Help to Buy product range for first-time buyers looking to get on the ladder, with rates starting at 3.79 per cent with £1,000 cash back.

Help to Buy launched in April 2013 offering borrowers an equity loan equal to up to 20 per cent of the value of the property interest-free for five years.

In London, the scheme was even more generous, affording borrowers an interest-free equity loan of up to 40 per cent.

It meant homeowners had to find just 5 per cent in savings for a deposit, while mortgage lenders would fund the remaining 75 per cent (or 55 per cent in London) with a mortgage.

This year is the first that homeowners who bought through the scheme have had to start paying interest on the Help to Buy part of their debt. This affects how much mortgage lenders will lend, as increased costs can reduce what they believe you can afford to borrow. 

Few lenders offer remortgage on Help to Buy-assisted loans as a result, so the addition of another two into the market means rates are more competitive for borrowers who find themselves in this situation. 

Want to get out of Help to Buy? 

Those who want to buy without the scheme or pay off their Help to Buy loans completely when they remortgage are also in luck. It's now possible to find small deposit mortgages at incredibly competitive rates.

Mortgage rates for those with just 5 per cent equity or deposit are at their lowest level since records began. The average two-year fixed rate has actually fallen from 3.95 per cent last year to stand at around 3.73 per cent today, according to Moneyfacts. 

It's not just first-time buyers feeling the benefits of a competitive market. Elsewhere, mortgage rates are continuing to fall despite August's base rate rise.

Remortgage rates are also cheap 

Research from Moneyfacts suggests that average two-year fixed rates have now dipped below 2.5 per cent, with deals available for as little as 1.39 per cent - only 0.64 per cent over the base rate, which is more competitive than most tracker and variable mortgages.

Two months on from the rate hike in August, the average two-year fixed rate has actually fallen from 2.52 per cent to stand at 2.49 per cent today. Five-year fixed rates have also fallen by 0.02 per cent over the same period.

Data from Moneyfacts also shows the average two-year fixed mortgage rate has risen by just 0.28 per cent from their all-time low last year, in contrast to the full 0.50 per cent base rate increase since October 2017.

Charlotte Nelson, finance expert at Moneyfacts, said: 'The past year has been a challenging time for providers as they have had to wrestle with two base rate rises for the first time in years, while at the same time needing to remain competitive to protect their mortgage book.

'This conflict of interest has meant average fixed mortgage rates haven't followed the Bank of England's rate rises entirely.'

Even those looking to lock in for 10 years can expect extremely low rates by historical standards. Coventry Building Society has a 10-year fix at 2.35 per cent with a £999 fee with a maximum loan-to-value of 50 per cent.

For those looking to to 65 per cent LTV, Virgin Money is offering a 10-year fix at 2.37 per cent with a £995 fee.

Kensington Mortgages, another broker-only lender, this week launched a 10-year residential fixed rate at both 60 and 75 per cent LTV, with rates starting from 4.34 per cent. 

Buy-to-let is cheaper than ever as landlords exit the market

Bank of England rates data shows the average buy-to-let mortgage rate at 75 per cent loan-to-value has also plummeted to just 2.27 per cent - the lowest since records began in 2012.

The buy-to-let sector has been battered in recent years as tax relief on mortgage interest is withdrawn and replaced with a tax credit. On top of this landlords now pay tax on their revenue rather than profit after mortgage costs.

In addition, the buy-to-let market has been hurt as stamp duty for new purchases was slapped with a 3 per cent surcharge back in 2016, making outlays for new investors considerably more expensive.

Chris Sykes, mortgage consultant at Private Finance, suggests the low rates are being introduced to entice potential new borrowers as the sector becomes less attractive as an investment.

For example, Lloyds Bank's buy-to-let arm BM Solutions today announced changes to a range of mortgage and valuations fees.

A mortgage account fee of £295 will no longer apply to products in the BM Solutions range. The lender has capped revaluation fees at £300 and also removed a £100 administration fee.

Nationwide's buy-to-let arm The Mortgage Works this week cut its two-year 65 per cent loan-to-value fixed rate to 1.49 per cent with a £1,995 fee. There is also the option of a 2.14 per cent rate with no fee.

The group's five-year 75 per cent LTV rate has dropped 0.10 per cent to 2.49 per cent with a £1,995 fee and £250 cashback.

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Stamp duty first time buyer new homes shrewsbury cross houses


Great News! The recent changes in the budget mean you can afford your dream home at Berrington Meadows, Cross Houses, Shrewsbury SY5 6JJ. We have several homes that will no longer have Stamp Duty applied. To view full development click here.

Stamp Duty is the tax charged by the Government when you buy a home. For first-time buyers in England and Wales no Stamp Duty is payable on properties up to £300,000. Homeowners need to start paying Stamp Duty from £125,000. Stamp Duty in Scotland is now referred to as the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) and is charged when you buy a home of more than £145,000.

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How much is Stamp Duty?

In England and Wales, Stamp Duty rates are paid on a sliding scale based on the property price within each tax band.

Stamp Duty payable for England and Wales - First-time buyers up to £500,000:

Purchase Price

Stamp Duty %

£0 - £300,000

0% (Zero)

£300,000 to £500,000


Berrington Meadows comprises of 3 & 4 bedroom homes & 2 bedroom bungalows perfect for todays discerning homeowner. Interest is already very high, register now to ensure you secure your preferred plot.




OR TEL: 01743 761665


The success of Havelock Gardens


The second release of 2 bedroom apartments were snapped up by purchasers within three weeks of being marketed. Again, Help to Buy has proved extremely popular on the development enabling purchasers to secure their new home in a gated community in the village of Thurmaston.



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The specification and design ensured that apartments were sold quickly and WH Brown of Leicester carried out the successful open days.

Buy new home save money home builder federation


The price of choosing a second hand home over new build could be as much as £50,000, according to research launched today (May 15) by the Home Builders Federation.

Avoid the money pit – the cost of upgrading old to newreveals that upgrading a second hand home to the same standard of functionality and finish as a new property could become this costly. The research launches alongside the start of New Homes Week supported by HBF, which highlights the advantages for consumers of buying new.

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The research looks at the work that might be necessary to refurbish an older property, breaking down the possible costs, with a consumer typically paying out £7,900 for buying and fitting a new kitchen, £3,800 for a new bathroom, £8,850 to rewire a home and £6,185 for installing central heating, as well as other outlays. “The costs for people moving into an older home can quickly mount up,” HBF said.

HBF’s research finds further savings from buying new, including a new home’s inherent energy efficiency meaning that 94% of homes built in 2016 achieve an energy efficiency rating of A to C. According to the research, only 26% of second hand homes reach these standards.

Stewart Baseley, HBF’s executive chairman, said: “Buyers of new build homes enjoy a huge number of benefits over those purchasing a second hand home.

“During the buying process customers will receive a high level of service and support from trained sales staff. Upon moving into a property that is designed for modern living, there are all the advantages of living in a home with brand new fixtures and fittings and the latest energy efficiency technologies.

“This report helps to highlight the hidden savings that buyers of new build homes make. While most people have a budget put aside to get the little jobs done, costs soon add up when you need to replace a bathroom or a kitchen.” 



OPEN DAY SATURDAY MARCH 11th, 1pm - 3pm. 

We only have a few plots remaining of our stunning 2 bedroom brand new apartments at Havelock Gardens, Thurmaston. With a superior specification and an ideal location our homes have proved extremely popular with professionals and downsizers alike. The Government Help to Buy Scheme is also available at Havelock Gardens and can make buying your new home more affordable.

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List prices from £128,995 with Help to Buy* (available on all homes)

If you are looking for a high quality new home that gives you more for your money come to Havelock Gardens, but be quick so you are not disappointed! For details, telephone 0800 168 3535 or go to email:  

Brand new 3 bedrrom 3 storey homes thurmaston leicestershire


We are pleased to announce we have a new development coming soon in Thurmaston.

Margaret Place is a mix of 8 semi/terraced houses being 3 storey and 2 storey, three bedroom homes. Further details and prices to be released during April 2017.  Register your interest now to be informed first! 

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About Thurmaston: 

The historic village lies on the River Soar and is something of a boating centre. There are two marinas which lead to Watermead Park, a beautiful purpose built nature reserve perfect for bird watching, a picnic, or leisurely stroll. Havelock Gardens is within easy reach of all local amenities, the local retail park being less than 5 minutes away on foot is home to well known retailers such as M&S food, Dunhelm, Sports Direct, Asda, Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Boots, Next and many more. Thurmaston also offers a choice of pubs, restaurants and café’s. This prominent location has seen much development in recent years and is within close proximity to some major blue chip companies perfect for the young professional. 

Thurmaston has its own Heritage Group which organises great events. For entertainment look no further than the nearby Odeon Cinema, De Montfort Hall and Ragdale Hall Spa retreat or a little further a field Drayton Manor Park and Zoo. Thurmaston has its own state of the art 3G football pitch at Elizabeth Park. The facility was built in 1996, and is home to Thurmaston Parish Council Offices. Elizabeth Park is also host to many of the local communities sports teams, such as Thurmaston Town FC and Thurmaston Bowls Club.

If you are looking to enjoy a low maintenance lifestyle, Margaret Court is the perfect choice. Commuting couldn’t be easier:

Served by a number of bus companies including Arriva and Centrebus

Nearest railway station only 2.4 miles away at Syston

M1 less than 5 minutes away by car via A46

Leicester city centre 15 minutes by car

East Midlands Airport 30 minutes by car

Whether you are first time buyers, a family or looking to downsize, Margaret Court is the place where you can start to live the life you have always wanted!




NEW RELEASE OPEN DAY SATURDAY JANUARY 21st, 1pm - 2pm. Come along and see for yourself our stunning 2 bedroom apartments. Havelock Gardens, a gated development of 21 superbly appointed apartments, perfectly located on Hadrian Road, off Melton Road is proving to be extremely popular, we are pleased to announce due to demand we have released further homes in Linen House. 

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Whether you are a young professional or looking to downsize our spacious 2 bedroom apartments are perfect for you. List prices from £128,995 with Help to Buy* (available on all homes)

If you are looking for a high quality new home that gives you more for your money come to Havelock Gardens, but be quick so you are not disappointed! 

2 bedroom apartments leciestershire


Finally, a Christmas present you can afford to treat yourself to! But HURRY don’t miss out, JUST TWO plots remaining... Come and see for yourself at our OPEN DAY SATURDAY 3RD DECEMBER 10 AM - 12 NOON.

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Benfield Homes have updated the specification to incorporate ‘up to the minute’ bathrooms and kitchens with a full range of stainless steel appliances and quality ceramic floor tiling to the bathrooms and kitchen areas.

Each apartment has low maintenance uPVC double glazed windows and full gas fired central heating form a high efficiency condensing boiler with hot water radiators.

The apartments are available to buy on 125 year leases and the secure, gated development will be professionally managed, so you won’t need to worry about gardening or external maintenance as this is all handled by a management company.

And buying just couldn’t be easier as, subject to eligibility, all apartments can be bought with up to 20% assistance towards the purchase price from the Government backed Help to Buy scheme, meaning that you may only need to find a 5% deposit and 75% mortgage. Call us today or come along to the open day for an informal chat.



The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) says mortgage spending reached an "historic low" in September as rates fell in the wake of the Brexit vote.

It reported that home movers and first-time buyers benefited after the Bank of England cut the base rate of interest to 0.25% in August amid fears the economy would grind to a halt after the shock Leave win.

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The CML said its members had responded by trimming many of their own rates, with mortgage repayments for those climbing the property ladder typically taking up 17.7% of their monthly household income in September.

The figure for first-time buyers was 17.8%. The figure includes capital and interest repayments.Low interest rates have been a feature of the market ever since the financial crisis, though soaring house price growth has raised deposits and stamp duty costs.Official figures released by the Office for National Statistics showed average house prices rising by 7.7% in the year to September - rising 0.2% month-on-month.:: Housebuilding target to be missed - minister

It meant prices were about £16,000 higher on average in September this year than they were in September 2015, while a first-time buyer faced paying 7.5% more for a home than they did a year ago.

But Paul Smee, the CML's director general, said low rates "should help turn strong appetite for home ownership into a reality as we approach the closing months of the year".

More recent housing market studies have pointed to high demand for properties but too few homes being built or being put on the market - driving asking prices up. The CML's figures showed homeowners borrowed a total of £11.4bn for house purchases in September, up by 4% year-on-year.

Sky News - 15 November 2016 


apartment thurmaston help to buy


Havelock Gardens has proven to be extrememly popular and are being snapped up!. We have just three plots remaining make sure you don't let them pass you by. Help to Buy is available.Due to popular demand we will be releasing further plots please register your interest.

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Viewings are strictly by appointment.  Contact W H Brown on 0808 168 35 35 to view the showhome.

brand new 2 bedroom apartments leicestershire help to buy


Another open day is planned this Saturday with appointments being booked with WH Brown.Appointments to view these new beautiful, spacious high specification apartments in the village of Thurmaston, can be made by contacting W H Brown on 0808 168 35 35.



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The new Showhome opened at the beginning of April just on a Saturday for appointments made via the estate agents WH Brown and resulted in reservations on apartments 38 and 42 with further reservations pending. WH Brown are able to offer IFA appointments with their in-house advisor and Help to Buy is available on all the apartments. If you are looking for a high quality build new home then look no further, you won't be disappointed!

twelve new, high specification, spacious, gated apartments have been released for sale by K. B. Benfield Group Holdings in the village of Thurmaston. 2 BEDROOM APARTMENTS


Three of the apartments have been immediately reserved with further reservations pending! Move to Thurmaston for ease of living with the convenience of banks, retail shops, supermarkets and quick access to the motorway network.  Initially, twelve new, high specification, spacious, gated apartments have been released for sale by K. B. Benfield Group Holdings in the village of Thurmaston. 



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Help to Buy is available, however, the apartments appear to attract all ages due to their location, accessibility and security. Demand appears high and viewings are strictly by appointment.  Contact W H Brown on 0808 168 35 35 to view the showhome.

Why Buy a New Build Home?


Whether you are a fan of their fresh exteriors and modern fittings, looking for a safe and secure home to raise a family, or just want to feel like your home is truly your own; new build properties have a lot to offer.

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Getting you on the property ladder

One of the main appeals of a new build home is the innovative purchase schemes that are available to help buyers who may otherwise simply not be able to afford to buy their own home.Schemes include shared ownership and shared equity or Government schemes like FirstBuy and NewBuy. Our advisers can help you understand the difference between all of these schemes and how they could apply to your circumstances.

A fresh start

A new build home is fresh, bright and clean, and untouched by previous owners. It provides a blank canvas on which you can stamp your own style and personality from day one.

Greener and cheaper

Today’s new build homes are built to the latest environmental standards and are cheaper to run. New build properties are six times more energy efficient and generate over 60% less carbon dioxide emissions than older homes. This means that, not only are new build home-buyers doing helping the environment, they are saving themselves money.

The choice is yours

Buying a new build home gives you lots of exciting choices. There are a huge range of developments with a variety of shapes and sizes, from city centre bachelor pads to suburban family homes. You can decorate every room to your liking without worrying about the cost of taking up old carpets or stripping the walls.

Safe and secure

New build homes may also offer increased security and safety, with many containing high specification alarm systems, as well as being designed with electrical and fire safety in mind.

They also tend to be spatially economic so every inch of every room can be utilised to its maximum potential.

No chain involved

With a new build home you do not have to wait for the owners of the property to find somewhere to live before you can move in. Once you have reserved your property you will be given a completion date so you can plan your move with the reassurance that you will not be let down. This removes the house-buying chain and the challenges that are often associated with moving into a second-hand home.

Peace of mind
Many house builders provide a comprehensive customer care service and added peace of mind is provided by the 10-year warranty issued by organisations such as the National House-Building Council.





Reservations are already being taken at Benfield Homes’ development of 2 bed apartments at Havelock Gardens, Thurmaston Leicester even before the show-home has been completed.

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The selling agents, WM Brown, have been busy with enquiries due to the scarcity of brand new apartments in the Leicester area and the opportunity to buy “off plan” and select your own tile colors etc. is proving appealing to new home buyers.

Havelock Gardens is located at the heart of old Thurmaston village opposite the village green and just a stone’s throw from the beautiful Watermead Park.

With pre-show home prices starting at £127,950 and with Help to Buy available to assist with deposits, Benfield Homes expect a number of properties to be reserved before the furnished show home is opened at the end of March.

For details, telephone 0800 168 3535 or go to email:  



Families are being offered new ways to help hopeful first-time buyers get on the housing ladder – without parents having to hand over large sums of money forever via the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’.

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A small band of innovative lenders have created schemes that allow parents, grandparents or other relatives to pool their resources with the younger generation. 

As long as the youngsters pay their mortgage bill each month, the helpers retain access to their savings and can withdraw their cash, often plus interest, as soon as the initial mortgage deals end.

‘Young people still face a huge challenge getting the mortgage they need,’ says Sarah Pennells, financial expert and founder of the SavvyWoman website. 

‘So any flexibility or innovation from lenders is welcome.’

Here are three key ways lenders are allowing family and friends to help first-time buyers:

The savings route 

With the Barclays Family Springboard mortgage, first-time buyers or home movers can get loans with deposits of as little as 5 per cent of their purchase price. 

But they pay a lower interest rate than on normal, low deposit deals because parents or other family members put 10 per cent of the price in a linked savings account for three years.

If the borrower pays the mortgage on time in this period, the helper can withdraw the cash at the end of the deal – having earned a generous interest rate of Bank of England base rate plus 1.5 per cent.

If the borrower misses repayments Barclays can keep the savings account in place for more than three years and it can retain the money for good if the property is repossessed and sold at a loss during the arrangement. Use the deal and buyers can get fee-free three- year fixed rates from 2.89 per cent.

The Family Building Society provides a similar scheme, with three-year fixes at 3.34 per cent, where buyers put down as little as a 5 per cent deposit and family members pay up to 20 per cent of the purchase price into a linked ‘security account’.

The offset strategy 

Yorkshire and Chelsea building societies help younger buyers cut their monthly repayments by allowing family members to put money in up to three linked offset accounts.

The money in the accounts will not earn interest, but is deducted from the borrower’s mortgage balance each month before working out how much their repayment will be.

So if you have a mortgage of £90,000 and one relative put £10,000 in an offset account and another puts in £5,000, you only pay interest on £75,000. The people putting the money in can withdraw it at any time – but the youngster’s monthly bills will rise if they do so.

The mortgage interest rates for people taking advantage of this scheme are around 0.2 percentage points higher than on Yorkshire’s standard loan deals. 

At the moment it has two-year offset fixes from 3.88 per cent. The Family Building Society offers similar offset deals – and first-time buyers can get a double benefit by using an offset arrangement alongside its security account.

The guarantor schemes

Guarantor loan schemes have gone out of fashion in recent years, but a handful of lenders do still offer them. 

They work by getting family members to use the equity in their own homes, and their incomes, to guarantee that the new borrower will meet their repayments.

The theory is that if an established owner and borrower guarantees your loan you are more likely to have your application accepted and will qualify for a lower interest rate. 

Such an arrangement is offered by less well-known lenders such as Aldermore Bank, which will lend up to the full purchase price of a property with the right guarantee arrangements in place.

The loans do not come cheap, though: it has two-year fixed rate loans at 5.48 per cent with set-up fees of more than £1,000.

Read more: 

We aim to take the stress out of buying a new home and we will help the process run as smoothly as possible and to help move things along!


Buying or selling a home is more stressful than having a child, changing jobs or getting married, a survey has found. However, at Benfield Homes we aim to take the stress out of buying your brand new home by making the process run a s smoothly as possible. We are there every step of the way to offer help and advice including liaising with solicitors.

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About seven in 10 who have bought or sold a house had found it stressful, according to the research from Which? Mortgage Advisers.

A divorce was the only major life event in the survey which people considered to be more distressing than buying or selling a property, with nearly eight in 10 (78%) people surveyed who had been divorced saying they found the process stressful.

Nearly 2,000 people took part in the survey who had either bought or sold a house in the previous five years.

The survey also asked people if they had experienced other life events and, if they had, it asked them if they had found these events stressful.

Some 70% of people who had sold a house had found it stressful, while 69% of people who had bought a house felt this way.

Arranging care for an elderly relative came closely behind in terms of the burden of stress, with 68% of people who had done this saying they found it stressful.

Meanwhile, just over half (53%) of people who had had a child said this had caused them stress, while 49% of people who had changed jobs said this, as did 40% who had got married.

More than one in three (36%) people said finding a school for their child had been stressful, while one in five (22%) retired people said that leaving work had been stressful.


To ensure purchasing your brand new home is as stress free as possible choose Benfield Homes. We are here for you and our customer satisfaction is of the uppermost importance.


Benfield Homes are now able to offer the government backed HELP TO BUY shared equity scheme at their development at Havelock Gardens, Thurmaston.

Under the scheme qualifying home buyers only need a 5% deposit and 75% mortgage with the remaining 20% provided by way of a government backed second mortgage for up to 25 years.

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No interest is charged on the government's 20% share during the first 5 years and then a very modest interest rate of 1.75% is charged with increases linked to RPI. The homeowner is free to pay off the loan at any time within the 25 years.

Benfield Homes Chairman Clive Benfield said "This is a fantastic scheme to assist homebuyers who would otherwise need a much larger deposit and already we have seen a large increase in enquiries from home buyers."

"With home buyers needing only a 75% mortgage the monthly payments will be much lower than for a larger mortgage meaning that buying a brand new home is now within reach of those with a deposit of as little as £7,000"

"With our links with The Mortgage Helpline, who specialise in new homes mortgages, we can usually obtain mortgage clearance for purchasers within a matter of hours.

The Help to Buy scheme is only available for owner occupiers on their sole home and not available for Buy to Let investors.

Havelock Gardens is a development of stunning 2 bedroom apartments with prices ranging from £124,950 to about £145,950.

 To find out more about Help to Buy CLICK HERE .


All you have to do is tell a friend, who’s considering moving, about Benfield Homes. Actually, they don’t even have to be a friend! You can point anyone you know in our direction; work colleagues, long lost relatives, in fact the list is endless. Remember to mention Help to Buy is available!

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Three Simple Steps to earn £250!

Step 1 - You fill in your details. They fill in their details.

Step 2 - They hand in the leaflet on their first visit to their chosen    

              Benfield Homes development OR you can post the form without 

              the sales advisors signature to Benfield Homes head office 

              (address is on the reverse).

Step 3 - They buy their lovely new Fletcher home, you  get £250*! 


Simply print out the leaflet fill it in and we will do the rest.

*Please see terms and conditions on pdf leaflet.

Download Recommend a friend leaflet


More than 100,000 people have been helped on to or up the housing ladder by the Government's Help to Buy schemes, figures show.

A total of 101,972 homeowners have been helped by the schemes, which allow people to buy a home with a deposit as low as 5%, according to the data unveiled by Housing Minister Brandon Lewis.

The total is made up of people using the equity loan and mortgage guarantee schemes launched in 2013, as well as the Help to Buy: NewBuy scheme which offers 95% mortgages to people buying a new-build home.

The equity loan scheme and NewBuy figures are for England only, while the mortgage guarantee scheme figures cover the whole of the UK.

Four out of five people using Help to Buy have been first-time buyers, the Government said

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Help to Buy has in the past been accused of helping to pump up house prices.

But the average price of homes bought under Help to Buy is £213,954, which is well below the average UK house price of £271,000, the Government said.

It named Leeds, Birmingham, Wiltshire, County Durham and Bedfordshire as areas where Help to Buy has proved particularly popular.

The Government has previously announced the extension of the equity loan scheme to 2020.

Other plans to help aspiring first-time buyers are also in the pipeline, including Help to Buy Isas which are set to be launched in the autumn through banks and building societies.

Under the new scheme, the Government will boost first-time buyers' savings for a deposit on a home by £50 for every £200 they save, up to a maximum bonus of £3,000. It is estimated that around 285,000 first-time buyers will use the new Help to Buy Isa scheme each year.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation said: "Help to Buy continues to drive demand for new homes, and its extension to 2020 is a huge boost. That demand is being met by the house building industry which is increasing output at the highest rate for decades."

Mr Lewis said: "Today's figures clearly show the continuing success of the Help to Buy scheme."



Lime Tree Village Cawston Lane, Dunchurch, Warwickshire

LIME TREE VILLAGE Cawston Lane, Dunchurch, Warwickshire

Benfield Group have been working in partnership with Retirement Villages Plc and Helical Bar Plc in developing an exciting new development for the over 55’s. Lime Tree Village is a unique development of 69 cottages and 84 apartments, which surround the Edwardian Cawston House. 

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The construction of the village has been phased over 3 stages using traditional methods including blockwork and brickwork cavity construction. As with all new developments, energy conservation was at the forefront of design to ensure high insulation values and improved energy efficiency. The village was designed with Cawston House in mind, to ensure aesthetic consistency throughout the development; which has been achieved using ivory finish wall render on the apartments and some of the houses. Materials were also chosen carefully to ensure the development synchronised with the surrounding environment. During the build, special attention was also given to the preservation of the natural environment including wildlife such as water voles and bats.

MANDARA POINT St Nicholas Street, Coventry CV1

MANDARA POINT St Nicholas Street, Coventry CV1

Mandara Point comprises 24 – 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments built in two blocks. The brownfield site was formerly a builder’s yard and offices situated close to Coventry’s canal basin and forms part of the regeneration of this area. 

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This high quality development of city centre apartments is of a contemporary design and comprises a mixture of traditional brickwork selected to blend in with adjacent recent developments and modern low maintenance window, roofing and cladding systems which demonstrate the way Coventry is progressing as a city.

CAWSTON HOUSE Lime Tree Village, Dunchurch, Rugby

CAWSTON HOUSE Lime Tree Village, Dunchurch, Rugby

Cawston House is a magnificent Edwardian House, which lies at the centre of Lime Tree Village. Prior to the recent refurbishment at Cawston House, the building had a number of uses including a country estate, a girls school and a factory with modern structural units. This regeneration project now comprises 4 luxury apartments, administration facilities, a library, restaurant, bar, conservatory, snooker room and doctor/nurse facilities and serves as the social hub of the village.

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The 153 dwelling village surrounding Cawston House has been carefully designed to ensure aesthetic consistency throughout the development and natural surroundings have been maintained. Decorating and painting contractors, R E Martin of Wolverhampton won a national award for their contribution at Cawston House; winning Supreme Winner at the Painter of the Year Awards 2004.



13th May, 2009

One of the leading property figures in Coventry believes the light is at the end of tunnel for the housing market.

Clive Benfield, the chairman of the KB Benfield Group – which includes a homebuilding arm, believes there is strong evidence to suggest that the recovery is close.

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But Benfield, whose company has new developments in Rugby and Leicestershire, believes the only thing holding back an upturn is purchasers’ inability to buy without a large deposit.

“Interest in our sites is rising all the time,” he said. “And we have seen figures from the RICS and Government statistics to show that the fall in prices is slowing and that interest is growing.

“Enquiries are up and if demand was anything to go by we would have sold both our current schemes out by now.

“But purchasers – particularly first time buyers – are finding that while banks are lending a bit more than they were six months ago, interest rates are not competitive unless you have a 30 or 40 per cent deposit.

“Once that comes down to nearer five or ten per cent, it will be the final piece of the jigsaw and the market will recover in earnest.

“My advice to buyers right now would be not to be put off by the interest rates and come and talk to homebuilders like Benfield Homes.

“While we can do nothing about the banks, we can work with potential buyers and hopefully find a way round the problem and get them into their new home as soon as possible.

“The reason I say that is house prices will begin to move upwards later this year and the time to get a bargain really is running out.

“I have said many times before that there is a shortfall in new homes and because of this limited stock, it will put inflationary pressures on new properties.”

There are just four three-bedroom townhouses remaining for sale at Benfield Homes’ Satchels Court development in Rugby.

The development is situated on the Dunchurch Road in a conservation area, opposite Rugby School. It has proved extremely popular with downsizers as Benfield Homes assist in the sale of the purchaser’s previous home.

Benfield added: “As a homebuilder, we have to be ready to do everything we can to help buyers in the present market.”


12th January, 2009

There is absolutely no doubt that 2008 was very tough for the property industry. In fact, that might already be the understatement of this year!

But all that should mean is that 2009 will represent a very good opportunity for those looking to get onto the property ladder or those moving home – especially those who act early, as the bargains that are available from developers now will soon be gone.

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Prices have been affected by the low number of sales and by repossessions and forced sales values which have skewed the market, but I believe prices are already beginning to stabilise and, with so much pent up demand, this is a perfect time for anyone looking to purchase a home.

Homebuilders like ourselves are offering a range of deals and incentives to buyers and I don’t believe there will be a better opportunity for buyers to make the move, particularly with interest rates at an all time low. 

Benfield Homes has also secured an allocation of funding under the government backed ‘HomeBuy Direct’ scheme, designed to assist first time homebuyers, and this will undoubtedly help those struggling to get a mortgage.

As an industry, I do not believe that things will return to ‘normal’ – whatever that means – in 2009, as homebuilders having cut right back on production due to the lack of mortgage funding and with so many new households being created in the UK there is a massive shortage of supply. We will see things starting to get back on track just as soon as mortgage availability improves.

Of course, different sectors of the economy rely on each other so we do need to see the banks returning to somewhere near normality when it comes to both mortgage lending and lending to businesses, but again, there have been signs that this is starting to happen with the interbank lending rates now coming back into balance.

It’s all-too-easy to keep talking the economy down and jumping on the ‘doom and gloom’ bandwagon but actually, we will come through this and we will prosper again.

On the contracting side of our business, we actually enjoyed a very healthy 2008 and landed a range of new deals across the region – including a contract to build an Extracare retirement development in Tiddington and several contracts within the education sector.

The problem construction is now facing is that suppliers are holding back on the amount of credit they are giving because they are struggling to get credit insurance. 

Once again, that is something we would like to see addressed sooner rather than later before it has a damaging effect on the industry.

In Coventry and Warwickshire, new projects are starting to take shape if they are not already complete. 

Add to that fact, that Coventry has already been selected for several high-profile relocations which will see the creation of new headquarters buildings – all of which are positive news for the area. 

I believe it is going to be a tough year ahead again – but the sooner confidence returns, the sooner we will get back on track.


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