HTB has supported almost 300,000 homes since launch

Jake Carter

February 27, 2020

home sales

The launch of the Help to Buy scheme since its introduction has supported 248,075 properties, according to MHCLG.

The total value of these equity loans equated to £14.31bn, with the value of the properties sold under the scheme totaling £65.69bn.

Under the scheme the majority of the purchases were made by first-time buyers, accounting for 201,784 or 81% of total purchases.

The mean purchase price of a property bought under the scheme was £264,785, with buyers using a mean equity loan of £57,694.

Looking to London, the maximum equity loan was increased from 20% to 40% in February 2016.

Since 30 September 2019, there were 17,287 completions in London of which 15,085 were made with an equity loan higher than 20%.

Craig Hall, head of broker relationships and propositions at Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “Opinions on Help to Buy have been mixed, but there is no doubt that the scheme has helped thousands of first-time buyers make their way onto the housing ladder.

“However, from next year the scheme will be restricted to first-time buyers only with regional price caps.

“Anyone planning to use Help to Buy should be aware of the impending deadlines that will determine whether they can use the scheme for their housing plans.

“This includes a practical completion date of 31 December 2020, where any property with Help to Buy as an option must be habitable, as well as a legal completion date of 31 March 2021 by which borrowers must have completed on their purchase.”

Marc von Grundherr, director at Benham and Reeves, added: “The government’s head in the sand approach to solving the housing crisis revolves around fueling an already overheating level of buyer demand and the Help to Buy scheme is the feather in their cap of failure.

“What’s more, many of those to have ‘benefitted’ from the scheme are now facing down the barrel of an increase in costs as the interest on their loan starts to come into play.

“So not only are many now tied into a property they really couldn’t afford to start with, those looking to buy now are forking out much, much more for the privilege.

“In fact, five percent of properties funded by Help to Buy have been for £500,000 or more, with five percent of buyers also earning £100,000 or more.

“In these instances, you have to argue that the use of the scheme is unnecessary and simply fuels luxury purchases at the expense of the taxpayer.

“It’s time the government stops flogging this dead horse in its various guises and addresses the actual issue which is clear for all to see.

“We need more houses to be built and we needed them five years ago.”

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