Britain unveils new scheme to help struggling home buyers

LONDON, March 20 Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:53am EDT

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LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - Britain launched a new scheme to help struggling home buyers on Wednesday, as the government looks to support growth in a housing market seen as key to an economic recovery.

Shares in Barratt Developments and other British housebuilders leapt after Britain's finance minister George Osborne launched the initiative, called 'Help-to-Buy', in his budget speech to parliament.

Osborne said Britain would commit 3.5 billion pounds ($5.3 billion) of capital spending over the next three years to shared equity loans for new build homes, and would offer guarantees to support 130 billion pounds of mortgages.

The scheme would be available from the start of 2014 and will run for three years.

Barratt Developments rose 5 percent, while Redrow, Bellway, Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey were up 2.9 to 3.5 percent.

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