The majority of those helped by the UK Government’s flagship Help to Buy schemes have been first time buyers, the latest statistics show.
When they were first launched there were warnings that they would be used by people who didn’t really need help to buy a home and not the first time buyers they were created for.
But the latest data shows that of the 220,000 people who have been able to buy a home using them some 180,000 were first time buyers and the average price of a home bought was £191,000, a price regarded as being within the first time buyer range.
‘Our Help to Buy schemes are helping hundreds of thousands of people, especially first time buyers, achieve home ownership,’ said Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond.
Although the Mortgage Guarantee scheme is due to finish at the end of this month, Hammond confirmed that the popular Equity Loan and ISA schemes will continue to ensure people can access support when buying or saving for a property.
According to Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell, the Equity Loan scheme, in particular, continues to be hugely successful and has now helped a landmark 100,000 households to own their own home by offering buyers up to 20% of a newly built home’s cost so they need to only save a 5% deposit.
The Mortgage Guarantee Scheme will end on 31 December 2016 as a wide range of 95% mortgage products are now available from commercial lenders so it is regarded as no longer being needed.
The figures also show that since the launch of the Help to Buy ISA in December 2015, 27,222 property completions have been supported by the scheme. The highest proportion of property completions with the support of the ISA are in the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber and South West.
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 been used by 1,500 buyers for their property purchase between February and September 2016 across 29 London boroughs.