The government announced at the weekend that English first-time buyers are set to benefit from its new mortgage indemnity scheme the so-called NewBuy initiative. The new scheme is being sold as a chance for younger Britons to get a chance to climb onto the UK housing ladder despite today’s adverse economic conditions. Under the scheme, construction firms and the Treasury will act as mortgage co-guarantors on the purchase of new homes. The scheme is also supported by mortgage lenders Barclays, NatWest and Nationwide, and aims to help people borrow up to 95 per cent of the value of their first property, by getting the firm behind the new build to pay 3.5 per cent of the property’s sale price into a special account held by the mortgage lender for a seven year period. The public purse also stumps up a potential sum of 5.5 per cent of the sale price, but this is intended only to be needed in the event that property prices plummet. NewBuy is available on new build flats and houses in England only, on properties with a maximum value of £500,000. It is backed by seven construction companies, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) and the Home Builders’ Federation (HBF). A CML spokesman said: “There is lender support and interest in the scheme. This is part of a wider approach to stimulating demand in the economy and it is part of a growth package and a series of measures.” HBF executive chairman Stewart Baseley added: “NewBuy will help thousands of people to meet their aspirations to buy a new home, freeing up the housing market and helping first-time buyers and those unable to take the next step on the ladder.