Help to Buy  

Help to Buy gets 220,000 people on property ladder

Help to Buy gets 220,000 people on property ladder

More than 220,000 people have got on the property ladder as a result of the government's various Help to Buy programs, HM Treasury revealed.

Of those, the vast majority - 180,000 - were first-time buyers.

The government's Help to Buy schemes include the Help to Buy Isa, Shared Ownership, Mortgage Guarantee, Equity Loan and London Help to Buy.

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The average house price across the schemes was £191,000, which HM Treasury said demonstrated the schemes were benefiting people buying smaller properties.

More than 100,000 people used the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme, which offers buyers up to 20 per cent of a newly built home’s costs so they only need to provide a 5 per cent deposit.

The Help to Buy Isa, meanwhile, was used on more than 27,000 property purchases, the highest proportion of which were in the north west, Yorkshire and the Humber and the south west.

In the capital, 1,500 buyers used the London Help to Buy scheme, which provides an equity loan of up to 40 per cent for buyers in the capital with a 5 per cent deposit.

HM Treasury noted that the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme would finish at the end of this month, as a "wide range" of 95 per cent mortgage products were now available from commercial lenders.

However, the government will introduce a new product to assist first-time buyers - the Lifetime Isa - in April next year.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said: "Our Help to Buy schemes are helping hundreds of thousands of people, especially first time buyers, achieve home ownership.

"We are continuing the popular Equity Loan and Isa schemes to ensure people can access support when buying or saving for a property. We are determined to help make home ownership a reality for hard working people."

Danny Cox, a chartered financial planner with Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Help to Buy Isa is helping to support younger home buyers and push down the average age at which people first step onto the property ladder.

"The majority using Help to Buy Isa are under the age of 35 which shows the Lifetime Isa age limit of 40 is well placed to support first-time buyers. 

"Help to Buy has grown to support around one in five first time buyer purchases and around 5 per cent of the typical 100,000 total property transactions there are per month."

He said the Lifetime Isa, which offers more generous government subsidies than the Help to Buy Isa, would see this theme "gather pace". 

james.fernyhough@ft.com