Nearly half a million homes bought with Help to Buy schemes

Nearly half a million homes bought with Help to Buy schemes
Over 400,000 first-time buyers have been given a leg up onto the property ladder by one or more of the government’s Help to Buy mortgage schemes over the past five years.

Latest figures from HM Treasury show that 494,108 completions have taken place using Help to Buy schemes since 2013, and of that number 430,000 were first-time buyers.

The average price of properties purchased through the schemes is £202,815.

Help to Buy equity loans exceed £10bn

More than £10.6bn has been lent via Help to Buy equity loans, which are available to both first-time buyers and home movers, between April 2013 and September 2018. Of this, £8.45bn was lent to first-time buyers.

Buyers using the equity loan scheme, which only applies to new build homes up to a maximum purchase price of £600,000, must provide a 5% deposit. The government then lends a further 20% of the property price, or up to 40% if the property is in London. The government loan is interest-free for the first five years. After that there is an annual charge of 1.75% which rises every year by the rate of inflation, plus another 1%.

The loan must be repaid either when the property is sold, or when the mortgage is paid off.

The current Help to Buy equity loan scheme is due to end in March 2021. However, it will then be replaced by a new equity loan scheme which will run until March 2023 and is designed for first-time buyers only.

The new scheme will work in the same way as the current scheme, except that the maximum value of properties homebuyers can purchase will be subject to new regional price caps.

Find out more about Help to Buy in our guide to government schemes for first-time buyers.

Nearly 200,000 properties bought with support from Help to Buy ISAs

Since they launched in December 2015, around 1.4m Help to Buy ISAs have been opened by first-time buyers, and 194,379 property completions have been supported by the scheme.

The highest number of property completions made with the support of Help to Buy ISAs is in the North West and Yorkshire and The Humber, with the lowest number in the North East and Northern Ireland.

The Help to Buy ISA is designed to help first-time buyers save for a deposit. Accounts can be opened with a maximum deposit of £1,200 and after that the maximum monthly contribution is £200. When the property is purchased, the government boosts any contributions made by 25%, so for each £200 paid in, it will add another £50. The maximum bonus buyers can claim is £3,000.

Help to Buy ISAs will only be available to new savers until the end of November this year. Help to Buy ISA account holders can, however, continue saving into their account until 30 November 2029.

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