17k homes bought through Help to Buy

24 March 2014

More than 17,000 homes have been purchased through the government's Help to Buy scheme, official figures have revealed.

The stats show that 88% of the 17,395 homes bought through the housing scheme in its first nine months were first-time buyers.

Perhaps surprisingly, London wasn't the hot spot for sales. The majority of homes (77%) were actually bought outside the South East and the capital.  

That said, the South East excluding London, was the region with the most sales at 2,844. This was followed by the East (with 2,259) the South West (2,153) and the North West (2,058). London had 1,905 sales.

The vast majority of sales (14,823) have been completed with the equity loan part of the scheme. This allows buyers to put down a deposit of just 5% on a new build property, which the government then tops up by a further 20% so they can benefit from taking out a mortgage of just 75% of the property's value.

The second part – the mortgage guarantee scheme which was launched last October - sees banks offer mortgages of up to 95% of the property values up to £600,000, with the government guaranteeing up to 15% of the property's value.

The figures also revealed the average house price bought through the scheme is £194,992.

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Security and independence

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Help to Buy is a key part of our long-term economic plan, giving thousands more people the security and independence that comes from owning their own home."

Meanwhile, Labour added a note of caution. Labour's shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds said: "Any help for first-time buyers struggling to get on the property ladder is to be welcomed. But rising demand for housing must be matched with rising supply if this scheme is to bring the cost of housing within the reach of low and middle-income earners."
"You can't deal with the cost-of-living crisis without building more homes. We need a Help to Build policy to boost housing supply and tackle the cost-of-living crisis, alongside a reformed Help to Buy scheme."

Chancellor George Osborne confirmed in last week's Budget that a further £6 billion would be made available to help build 120,000 new homes.

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