Help to buy records strong quarter

Robyn Hall

November 30, 2018

Over 458,000 completions have taken place overall using one or more of the Help to Buy schemes, according to government statistics.

Some 402,000 of which were first-time buyers whilst the average price of a house purchased through the schemes stood at £201,881.

John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury said: “We want to help as many people as possible experience the fantastic feeling of pride you get when you collect the keys to your first home. That’s why we offer the special Help to Buy: ISA for them to save, cut their Stamp Duty and introduced a new Help to Buy Equity Loan to run until March 2023.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire (pictured) said: “I am committed to making the housing market work for everyone and restore the dream of home ownership for a new generation.

“It’s great news that since 2010 we have helped over half a million people get on the housing ladder, through programmes such as Help to Buy.

“We are determined to do more, which is why we have dedicated over £44 billion of investment to help deliver the homes communities need.”

In total, 169,980 completions have taken place across the UK since its launch in December 2015.

Shaun Church, director at Private Finance, added: “The Help to Buy scheme has undoubtedly been a much-needed helping hand for many first-time buyers struggling with high housing costs. Approvals have continued to grow year-on-year, suggesting there is still strong demand for options onto the housing ladder which don’t require a hefty deposit.

“Londoners have strongly benefited from the maximum equity loan doubling in size, with 83% of all completions using the scheme in the capital being made with a loan of more than 20% in Q2. This is some compensation for the fact that Londoners do not stand to benefit as much from recent cuts to stamp duty for first-time buyers, given only properties under £300,000 are fully exempt.

“Though Help to Buy is a valuable route to homeownership, where possible it is best to exit the scheme once the five-year interest-free grace period is over or sooner if this is viable.

“As Help to Buy caters to a more niche market, the rates available on more traditional mortgage products are generally more competitive. Help to Buy borrowers are also expected to pay 10-20% back of the current value of their home rather than the original equity loan, so exiting the scheme enables them to enjoy more of the capital gains from their property should their home rise in value.”

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