Number of Help to Buy loans up by 9%

Number of Help to Buy loans up by 9%
The number of homes purchased using Help to Buy increased by 9% in the year to the end of March 2019, with 52,404 properties bought using the scheme over this period.

Of these, first-time buyers purchased 43,248 properties, up 11% compared to the same period the previous year.

In the capital, property purchases completed under Help to Buy were up by 30% over the year, with 6,115 properties bought, compared to 4,710 the year before.

Since the launch of Help to Buy in April 2013, a total of 18,301 properties in London have been bought using the equity loan scheme.

Over the past six years, 221,405 properties have been bought with equity loans totalling £12.46 billion, with first-time buyers accounting for 81% of total home purchases.

The average purchase price of a property bought under the scheme was £260,218, with buyers using an average equity loan of £56,257.

Help to Buy equity loan scheme explained

Under the Help to Buy equity loan scheme, homebuyers only need to put down a 5% deposit. The government will then provide a 20% equity loan interest-free for the first five years. The maximum equity loan in London increased from 20% to 40% from February 2016.

Of the London home purchases completed over the past three years, 74% have been made with an equity loan of exactly 40% of the purchase price.

The Help to Buy equity loan can only be used to buy new build homes costing up to £600,000. This means that the maximum equity loan available if you’re buying outside London is £120,000 (20% of £600,000), or £240,000 if you’re purchasing a home in London (40% of £600,000).

When properties are purchased using the Help to Buy equity loan scheme, the property title is held by the homeowner who can sell their home at any time. Upon sale, they will need to provide the government the value of the same equity share of the property at the time it is sold.

The Help to Buy equity loan scheme was due to end in 2021, but in the 2018 Budget, the scheme was extended to 2023, although only for first-time buyers.

The new housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, said last week that ‘all options are on the table” when asked if he would be prepared to extend the Help to Buy scheme beyond 2023.

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