Flagship UK Help to Buy scheme reaches 100,000

Help to Buy, the UK government’s flagship housing scheme, has helped almost 100,000 people buy a new home since it was introduced, the latest data shows.

Since the launch of the Help to Buy equity loan and mortgage guarantee schemes some 80% of scheme completions have been made by first time buyers, with more expected when the government’s Help to Buy ISA launches this autumn.

The data also shows that the average house price was £184,000, significantly below the national average, almost 94,000 people have bought a home through the scheme, 95% of Help to Buy completions took place outside of London and over half of Help to Buy completions have been for new build homes.

The Help to Buy equity loan scheme and the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee were launched in 2013 to support buyers who could pay a mortgage, but couldn’t afford the high deposits demanded by lenders in the wake of the financial crisis.

Together with the government’s Help to Buy NewBuy scheme, which offered 95% mortgages for those buying new build properties, the number of new home owners has reached 99,601.

The scheme also continues to benefit first time buyers overwhelmingly, with the vast majority of sales outside of London and at prices well below the national average, officials said, adding that Help to Buy is also ensuring the long term health of the housing market by increasing housing supply, stimulating home building.

Over half of the homes bought through Help to Buy are new build properties, helping to contribute to the 41% rise in private house building in England since the launch of Help to Buy.

With almost all completions outside London, the highest number of homes have been through the mortgage guarantee scheme in the North West region. The equity loan scheme for new build properties is particularly high in the South East region.

Figures for the mortgage guarantee scheme also show completions have been least concentrated in regions where house price growth is highest. In London the scheme makes up just 1% of all mortgage lending compared to an average of 3% across the country.

‘The government’s Help to Buy scheme has now helped nearly 100,000 people across the UK achieve their aspiration of buying a new or bigger home and I’m looking forward to these numbers growing even more with the launch of the new Help to Buy ISA this autumn, which will ensure that first time buyers saving for a deposit get an additional boost from the government,’ said Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

‘Key to our long term plan is providing economic security for people at every stage in life. The security of owning your own home is a big part of this, which is where Help to Buy comes in. It’s also boosting the economy more widely by driving an increase in house building in Britain, ensuring long-term housing supply and creating jobs,’ he added.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said that anyone who works hard and aspires to own their own home should have the opportunity to turn their dream into a reality. ‘Today’s figures show how the government’s Help to Buy scheme is turning those dreams into reality, with nearly 100,000 people helped to own a home of their own, each needing just a 5% cent deposit. And with the Equity Loan scheme extended to 2020, even more people will be able to follow in their footsteps,’ he pointed out.

According to Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, extending the equity loan scheme to 2020 provides certainty of demand that allows home builders to recruit the people and invest in the land and supply chains required to support further sustained increases.

‘Building more high quality homes has made home ownership attainable for many more first time buyers, whilst providing improved infrastructure for existing communities and boosting local economies,’ he explained.

‘The Mortgage Guarantee scheme has also benefitted new home building, both directly by increasing demand for new homes, and indirectly by helping new home buyers to build housing chains,’ he added.