Residential  

Help to Buy equity loans reach £16bn

Help to Buy equity loans reach £16bn

The value of Help to Buy equity loans has reached £16.05bn in England since its launch, according to data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The data for April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2020, published last week (July 23) showed equity loans had supported the purchase of £73.28bn worth of property, with 272,852 properties purchased under the scheme since its launch.

Under the scheme, homebuyers can borrow up to 20 per cent of the cost of a new-build property from the government. However, in London, where the average house price is highest in England, the maximum equity loan was increased to 40 per cent in February 2016.

Since then, London completions totalled 20,233, the majority (88 per cent) of which were made with an equity loan higher than 20 per cent.

The data also showed a 17 per cent fall year-on-year in the number of Help to Buy equity loan completions during March, from 5,167 to 4,306, as the government announced a lockdown on March 23 that effectively closed the property market.

The number of completions in January and February remained stable year-on-year.

Number of legal completions

 20192020
January2,4172,412
February2,8212,797
March5,1674,306

The current Help to Buy equity loan scheme in England is due to be replaced from April 2021, with a new scheme restricted to first-time buyers.

Regional property price caps will also apply which, according to the government, will “ensure the scheme reaches people who need it most”.

While equity loans are currently also available to homemovers, the figures showed that first-time buyers accounted for the majority (82 per cent) of properties purchased under the scheme.

chloe.cheung@ft.com