Nearly 300 visitors attended an event organised by the Homes & Communities Agency on Monday aimed at making house buying as simple as possible.
The Key Event in Urbis, Manchester brought together 17 residential developers with unsold stock, four lenders, independent mortgage brokers, as well as Greater Manchester's Homebuy agent Plumlife.
The HCA said it was useful to get all sides of the housing equation together under one roof so that people could view their options. The event was aimed mainly at first time buyers, whose average age is rising – now 38 – as young people struggle to get on to the property ladder.
The free event – claimed to be the first of its kind in the country – showcased new homes available in Greater Manchester, as well as providing people with the advice and support they need to make informed decisions about home-buying.
Deborah McLaughlin, NW regional director for the HCA, said: "HCA and all the property experts were delighted by the response from the public. It was a great exercise in promoting the initiatives available to would-be homebuyers and we are now looking seriously to roll out more Key Events across the rest of the North West.
"The aim was simply to help people find the right property, to have access to straightforward information about our schemes, and to be able to discuss the kinds of mortgage product that best suits their individual circumstances. We felt it was the ideal opportunity to match people keen to buy a property with developers who have a good range of new homes to sell – and the response from the public on the day was excellent."
Matthew Harrison, deputy chief executive of Plumlife, said: "The Key Event proved a really excellent way for us to reach people keen to get on to the property ladder, who are often confused about the help and choices available to them. The Plumlife stand was very busy all day, and the information and main messages we aimed to get across to people worked well in the event's one-stop-shop environment.
"It gave us a really good opportunity to de-mystify and explain the various affordable homes schemes and developments on offer. We'd welcome a repeat of the Key Event in other regions, as part of our on-going awareness campaign."