More than 420,000 people in Britain have been helped onto the housing ladder with the Government’s flagship Help to Buy scheme, the latest figures reveal.
More than 1.2 million people have opened Help to Buy ISA accounts so far and the average Help to Buy bonus claim has reached £800, a new record.
Overall, the quarterly Help to Buy figures show that more than 420,000 completions have taken place using one or more of the schemes and more than 365,400 first time buyer households are now on the housing ladder.
A breakdown of the figures shows that the North West is the region with the highest number of Help to Buy completions, more than 20,000 in the last quarter.
‘We’re helping a new generation of first-time buyers realise their dream of owning a home.
Help to Buy continues to be hugely popular across the UK, with 420,000 people getting support so far,’ said John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury.
The data also shows that the Help To Buy Equity Loan scheme has been used by tens of thousands of households across the country, with almost 170,000 households purchasing a home this way by securing up to 20% of a newly built home’s costs so they only need to provide a 5% deposit.
Some 95% of first-time buyers who pay stamp duty will also benefit from tax changes announced in Autumn Budget 2017, helping more than a million people get on the housing ladder over the next five years.
The Government has abolished stamp duty altogether for first-time buyers for homes up to £300,000, and made this relief available for the first £300,000 of properties worth up to £500,000, providing help for people in higher value areas such as London.
So far, 121,500 first-time buyers have saved a total of £284,000,000 thanks to this stamp duty relief.
For people saving up for their first home or for later in life, the Lifetime ISA is also available. Savers can put in up to £4,000 each year, until the age of 50. The Government will add a 25% bonus to your savings, up to a maximum of £1,000 per year.
Help to Buy has become an important part of the housing market, according to Craig Hall, New Build Manager, Legal & General Mortgage Club. He pointed out that the schemes have consistently helped more than 80% of first-time buyers get on the property ladder and supporting growing families with moving up the ladder.
‘Whilst the scheme certainly eases the issues with affordability and a raising a large deposit, over recent years we have seen mortgage lenders improving their core new build offering, providing further choice and reducing the dependency on the scheme for many borrowers,’ he pointed out.
‘It’s no secret that we need to build over 300,000 new homes a year to keep up with demand, and the Government will need to find a range of solutions in order to help meet this target. Whether it’s guaranteeing the scheme post-2021, increasing support for other affordable schemes such as Shared Ownership, or relaxing planning restrictions, we need new supply entering the market, stimulating growth and allowing it to better serve those who need it most,’ he added.