Help to Buy figures show overwhelming support for first time buyers


Almost 500,000 homes completions in England were supported by one or more of the Government’s flagship Help to Buy schemes between April 2013 and September 2018, the latest official figures show.


The vast majority, some 430,000 of these completions were made by first time buyers and over 93% were outside of London.

The figures also show that the average house price purchased through the schemes is &202,815 and first time buyers have now opened 1.4 million Help to Buy ISAs, offering Government bonuses of up to &3,000 on top of their savings.


‘This government supports those who dream of owning their own home, and wants to help them take the first step onto the property ladder. That’s why we’ve cut stamp duty and extended the Help to Buy equity loan scheme to run until March 2023, supporting half a million more home purchases,’ said Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond.


The most completions using the Help to Buy ISA continued to take place in the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber. In total, 194,379 completions have taken place across the UK since its launch in December 2015.


The London Help to Buy scheme, which provides an equity loan of up to 40% for buyers in the capital with a 5% deposit, helped 15,056 buyers across 33 boroughs purchase their own property between February 2016 and September 2018.

‘We are committed to helping more people get on the housing ladder as we power through to delivering 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s,’ said Housing Minister Kit Malthouse.


‘Our Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme has supported more than 190,000 households in purchasing their home, helping to make the dream of home ownership a reality for a new generation,’ he added.


The statistics show that Help to Buy has become a cornerstone of the UK property market, according to Kate Davies, executive director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), adding that Help to Buy continues to stimulate the bottom of the housing ladder, providing essential support to the whole of the UK property sector.


‘These figures show a continuing trend in what looks set to be the strongest year so far for Help to Buy sales, with total completions since the scheme began likely to have passed the 200,000 mark by the end of 2018, with around 1,000 sales a week completing with the support of Help to Buy in 2018,’ she said.


A recent piece of IMLA research predicts a stable but flat mortgage market through 2020 and Davies expects the scheme to remain invaluable in supporting home buyers into the next decade.


‘The support will also help keep the property market on an even keel during a period of heightened uncertainty as a result of the UK’s expected departure from the European Union this year,’ she pointed out.


‘Although last year saw the highest number of first time buyers since the financial crisis, millions of households are still waiting to get on the housing ladder and Help to Buy will continue to play a crucial role in helping some of these households into home ownership over the next four years,’ she explained.


‘Given the important role Help to Buy plays in lifting households into home ownership and the large number of people who have not been able to climb onto the first rung of the property ladder, long term solutions are required to ensure the continuing prosperity of the housing market, post-2023,’ she concluded.



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