Help to Buy scheme nears 500,000 mark

Almost half a million completions have taken place since 2013 using one or more of the government’s Help to Buy schemes, new government figures show

The ONS quarterly statistics record 494,108 completions taking place using one or more Help to Buy schemes, over 93% of which took place outside of London. Of these, 430,000 were made by first time buyers.

The average house price purchased through the schemes is £202,815.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond said: ‘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.’

The most completions using the Help to Buy: ISA continue 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 - has helped 15,056 buyers across 33 boroughs purchase their own property between February 2016 and September 2018.

The Help to Buy: ISA scheme was launched on 1 December 2015 with accounts available through banks, building societies and credit unions. The scheme enables people saving for their first home to receive a 25% boost to their savings from the government when they buy a property of £250,000 or less (with a higher price limit of £450,000 in London). This means that for every £200 saved, first-time buyers can receive a government bonus of £50. The maximum government bonus is £3,000.

The scheme will be open to new savers until 30 November 2019. Help to Buy: ISA account holders can, however, continue saving into their account until 30 November 2029 when accounts will close to additional contributions. The Help to Buy: ISA government bonus must be claimed by 1 December 2030.

Help to Buy ISA quarterly statistics are here.

Report by Pat Sweet

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