Help to Buy sales update

The latest statistics on the uptake of the government’s flagship Help to Buy schemes were published on 30 March 2017. The figures show that over 259,000 homes have been bought since the schemes were first launched in October 2013. The portfolio of Help to Buy schemes include: ISA, Shared Ownership, Mortgage Guarantee, Equity Loan and London Help to Buy. The average house price across the schemes is almost £193,000.

The average house price to income multiple under the mortgage guarantee scheme is capped at a 4.5x ratio to ensure responsible lending. The London Help to Buy scheme was launched in February 2016 and is helping London residents to buy a new home with a 5% deposit and a mortgage as low as 55% for first time buyers as well as homeowners looking to move to a newly built home with a price tag of up to £600,000. The London Help to Buy scheme has been used by 2,381 buyers in the first 11 months since the scheme was launched.

The Help to Buy: ISA scheme was launched in December 2015 and so far over 868,000 accounts have been opened. The scheme allows savers to claim a government bonus of 25% on monthly savings of up to £200 on savings towards their first home. The bonus translates to an extra £50 added to every £200 saved up to a maximum governmental contribution of £3,000 on £12,000 worth of savings.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said:

‘This government is committed to helping working people get on the housing ladder. Our Help to Buy schemes are proving hugely popular across the country. More than a million people are now using them to help achieve home ownership, particularly first time buyers.’

The latest statistics on the uptake of the Government’s flagship Help to Buy schemes were published on 5 March 2015. The figures show that over 88,000 homes have been bought since the schemes were first launched in October 2013.

Some of the headline figures include:

  • 80% of scheme completions have been made by first-time buyers;
  • the average house price was £185,000 (£156,000 for the mortgage guarantee and £212,000 for the equity loan scheme), significantly below the national average of £272,000;
  • 94% of Help to Buy completions took place outside of London;
  • over half of Help to Buy completions have been for new-build homes.

The average house price to income multiple under the mortgage guarantee scheme is just over 3.5x salary, and capped at a 4.5x ratio to ensure responsible lending.

Commenting on the figures, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said:

‘Help to Buy has now helped almost 90,000 homebuyers across the UK buy a new or bigger home as part of this government’s drive to create a fairer society. We have been able to introduce this scheme – which is just one of the many ways that we’re helping people across the UK – because we’ve got the public finances and economy on a stronger footing, as the fastest-growing economy in the G7.’

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Case Studies

The Tax Man

Minimise the stress of an investigation and make use of our extensive experience in securing best outcome for our clients

Business Valuation in Distress

Take advantage of our impartial and rigorous due diligence procedures

FD in The Cupboard

Our innovative ideas are here to improve your business performance and secure appropriate and cost effective funding

The Tax Man

The Tax Man

A new client was introduced to us via a recommendation with whom we arranged to meet on a regular basis in order to determine a number of changes that we felt were needed to their business structure. The client was at the time operating as a husband and wife partnership. The business was flourishing and had a number of large contracts with big organisations.

At the start of the process they were still heavily immersed in their day to day operations so we can get a full flavour for their ambitions, aspirations and growth plans. We quickly recognised there were sufficient tax savings which can be achieved by changing the structure from a partnership to a corporate entity. We carried out a business valuation and disposed of the goodwill from the old to the new business. Unfortunately, as often is the case with efficient tax planning, HMRC got involved and disputed our valuation.

An HMRC investigation can be a very stressful time for any client, even for those best prepared. However, our client had minimal input in the HMRC communication as we dealt with this professionally behind the scene. As an added benefit, our client could rest on the security that all work was covered by insurance and therefore all costs and time in dealing with this enquiry were covered by the fee protection policy we had put in place.

The initial approach taken by HMRC was very aggressive and they tried to present an argument that there was no goodwill in the business. We challenged HMRC’s view that the goodwill was worthless. After lengthy correspondence and numerous telephone calls, HMRC agreed 100% with our original valuation, which preserved our original tax saving plan for the client. Tax savings on this case where in the region of £75K at the outset, with ongoing savings of £6,000 per annum. We are pleased to add another happy client to our portfolio.

Business Valuation in Distress

Business Valuation in Distress

Selling a business is never an easy process, but when disputes arise, the need for a reliable third party due diligence process is even greater.

Tearle & Carver have extensive understanding of the requirements for remaining objective when managing a potentially difficult company buyout. In one such case, we were approached by the courts to act as independent accountant for an acrimonious business sale in which one partner was exiting the business and selling shares to the other. Given the circumstances, both sides had totally polar views of what their business was worth.

After arranging an initial meeting with the company, we were thorough in ensuring we completed due diligence, validating the figures in the accounting records, carrying out adjustments where appropriate, and drafting a set of reliable management figures within the framework required by the court.

A draft version of the report detailing our findings and conclusions was submitted to both parties, giving them the opportunity to voice any queries or concerns and ensure all relevant factors had been taken into account.

Through this process, we were able to submit a final report to the courts that was both binding and acceptable to both parties, effectively resolving what could otherwise have been a time consuming and costly process for all sides.

FD in The Cupboard

FD in The Cupboard

For smaller companies, it is often not possible or cost effective to pay for a full-time Financial Director.
Many of our clients therefore make use of Tearle & Carver’s extensive expertise to provide the services of an FD as and when required.

In this case, we were approached by the management team of an organisation looking to acquire the existing business via an MBO (Management buy out). Their business plan had proved ineffective for securing funding, and what they needed was financial expertise from someone with a developed understanding of the company’s internal workings.

Tearle & Carver helped deliver the solution our clients were looking through utilising our bank contacts in order to make the MBO viable, while also building a robust business plan and preparing our client for the rigorous vetting process. To help with cash flow issues, we introduced factoring which led to improved cash flow management.

We advised on the appropriate business valuation and structure, and continued to prepare monthly accounts to track profgress once the management were fully in command of all the information they needed to move their business forward.

In order to best assist these clients through the crucial first year of ownership, we attended board meetings on a regular basis, a service that we continue to provide to date.

With our continually developing understanding of their business, this client is able to remain confident that Tearle & Carver can provide any financial support they may need, now and in the future.