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Help to Buy house purchases number 250,000

The Help to Buy equity loan scheme has facilitated 248,075 property purchases between its launch in 2013 until 30 September 2019.

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

Some 81% of purchases using Help to Buy were for first-time buyers.

Joseph Daniels, founder of offsite eco developer Project Etopia, said: “Help to Buy continues to be a bait ball for buyers as they increasingly snap at this generous incentive while it lasts.

“The adjustment of the scheme in 2021 is now right around the corner. It will still be available to first-time buyers but regional price caps will begin to limit the size of the properties these purchasers can buy through the scheme.

“They know they may never have a better chance to get the home they want, as witnessed by the ever increasing usage figures for the scheme. Buyers are clearly taking advantage while they still can.

“The only thing these buyers need to watch out for is the way current and future price caps will squeeze properties into a narrow band of price. This can push up the prices of properties, as well as drag them down.

“This happens because demand is driven up for a relatively small segment of the market, and buyers should be careful not to over pay as it may offset the benefits of the scheme in the long term, when they come to sell.”

Craig Hall, head of broker relationships and propositions, Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “Help to Buy was never meant to be a permanent fix, and it is great to see that both providers and lenders are already innovating to fill the gap, launching more higher-LTV mortgages that reduce the deposits first-time buyers need.

“Shared Ownership and mooted schemes such as the First Homes initiative could also play a role in the post-Help to Buy mix.

“For those already using the scheme, the journey isn’t over. Ensuring a smooth transition for these borrowers with clear Help to Buy remortgage options will be vital to helping them with their housing plans in the future.

“It’s crucial mortgage advisers are on hand to explore the best and most affordable options to suit the individual customer needs.”