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Help to Buy transactions hit 71,000

Sarah Davidson

November 28, 2014

Help to Buy 1 and 2 currently account for around 3% overall house sales, while 81% of sales using the schemes were for first-time buyers.

Since the launch of Help to Buy private house building has been boosted by 20%.

David Cameron, Prime Minister, said: “Help to Buy has helped thousands of hard-working people buy a new home and enjoy the security and peace of mind that comes with that.

“And crucially, it’s playing a major part in increasing the number of new homes being built around the country – creating jobs and investing in communities.

“This is all part of our long-term economic plan to secure a better future for Britain.”

Aldermore managing director Charles Haresnape backed Help to Buy, as he said: “The latest statistics from the government show that the scheme is working exactly as intended, by helping regions outside the South East and primarily first-time buyers.

“Despite fears when the scheme was initially announced, it has not contributed to any housing bubble.

“We are proud to be part of this scheme and look forward to supporting further Help to Buy customers next year.”

But Simon Crone, vice president – mortgage insurance Europe for Genworth, said: “Given that just £644m of guarantees were made in the first year from an overall budget of £12bn over three years, it is clear that Help to Buy 2 will not solve the drought of high loan to value lending on its own.

“We are still a long way from a normal market for first-time buyers – with the election fast approaching, it is time to consider the next steps to permanently fix a problem hardwired into mortgage regulations.”

Average house prices for the combined schemes stand at £186,000, below the UK average of £273,000, while individually they are £156,000 for mortgage guarantee and £211,000 for the equity loan scheme.

Leeds council is the highest performing local authority across the country for the two parts of Help to Buy – with almost 1,000 new homes purchased by local residents.

Lloyds lifted restrictions on the Help to Buy equity loan this week, increasing its upper lending limit to £250,000 and its maximum purchase price to £600,000.

Crone added: “The two biggest housing priorities facing the next government will be sustaining the rise in new house building and keeping homeownership open as an option for normal working people.

“Both objectives partly depend on the wider availability of prudent high loan to value mortgages.

“With Help to Buy due to expire by 2017, it is time to replace this temporary fix with a permanent mortgage guarantee overseen by regulators and driven by the private sector.”


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