First-time BuyerAug 21 2017

Help to Buy Isa accounts break 1 million

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Help to Buy Isa accounts break 1 million

More than 1m Help to Buy Isas have been opened since the product was launched in 2015, the government has revealed.

First-time buyers have now saved £1.8bn into their Isas towards their first home.

The product was launched in December 2015 to help first-time buyers save towards a deposit, with the government topping up contributions of up to £200 a month by 25 per cent to a maximum of £3,000.

Stephen Barclay, economic secretary to the Treasury, said: “Reaching the landmark of one million Help to Buy Isas shows the product’s success in helping first-time buyers save towards a home.

“Our Help to Buy schemes continue to prove hugely popular across the country, as we support people to get on in life and achieve their dream of climbing the housing ladder.”

Last year the government ended the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme because its purpose – to increase the availability of high loan-to-value mortgages – had been achieved.

The Help to Buy Isa is available for home purchases of up to £250,000 or £450,000 in London.

Around 1,500 accounts have been opened every day since the product’s launch.

The best-paying Help to Buy Isa, according to Money Saving Expert, is currently offered by Barclays, paying 2.27 per cent.

Several building societies offer higher rates, such as Penrith Building Society which offers one paying 3 per cent, but these are only available to those living in certain geographic areas.

First-time buyers will be able to open a Help to Buy Isa until 30 November 2019.

Existing account holders can continue to save in their Isa account until 30 November 2029 when accounts will close to additional contributions.

Bonuses can be claimed until 1 December 2030.