Help to Buy  

Help to Buy Isa cuts first-time buyer age

Help to Buy Isa cuts first-time buyer age

The government’s Help to Buy Isa scheme has cut the age at which first-time buyers get on the housing ladder by three years.

The median age of a first-time buyer using the government-backed scheme is 27 – three years younger than the national first-time buyer median age of 30, according to statistics from HM Treasury.

June saw a record number of property purchases with the proceeds of a Help to Buy Isa, with 8,330 completions – up from 7,147 the previous month.

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It rounded off the busiest quarter for the scheme so far, during which 21,577 property sales completed through a Help to Buy Isa.

Launched in December 2015, the initiative enables people looking to buy their first home to receive a 25 per cent boost to their savings from the government when they purchase a property of up to £250,000, or £450,000 in London.

For every £200 saved, first-time buyers receive a bonus of £50 from the government, with the maximum bonus available capped at £3,000.

Meanwhile, just 43 completions were made through the Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee scheme, which was closed to new loans on the 31 December 2016.

Since it was launched in October 2013, 104,763 mortgages have been completed with the support of the mortgage guarantee scheme – 80 per cent of which were for first-time buyer purchases.

Some 57 per cent of all mortgage completions through the scheme were on properties worth £150,000 or less, reflecting the fact that 95 per cent of completions were on properties outside London.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said: “These latest figures are yet another sign that Help to Buy is achieving its objectives to support first-time buyers, increase housing supply and boost the economy."

Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Bristol-based Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Anyone saving into a Help to Buy Isa at the moment has to be cheered by the fact that since December 2015, nearly 84,000 people who were in their shoes have since clambered onto the housing ladder. 

"As time goes on, and funds build up in these Isas, we are seeing more and more people able to buy a home with the help of the scheme."

simon.allin@ft.com