Help to Buy Equity Scheme reaches 60,000 homes bought since launch

Property News
Over 60,000 properties have been bought using the Help to Buy Equity scheme since it was launched in 2013, new government research has revealed.
According to Treasury figures, 62,259 properties have been bought with the support of the equity loan scheme.
The scheme was originally introduced in 2013 to improve people’s chances of owning a property.
First-time buyers represented 81% of total equity loan sales, the equivalent of 50,969 purchases.
The average purchase price was £217,999 under the scheme, well above the national house price average of £187,000.
The highest levels of completed sales using the scheme were in Wiltshire (1084), Leeds (999), Central Bedfordshire (979), Peterborough (819), County Durham (803) and Bedford (772).
The news comes after the launch last week of the Help to Buy ISA, which will give first-time buyers saving for a deposit the opportunity to put away £200 a month in a dedicated ISA that the government will top up by 25%, up to a maximum of £3,000.
Last month, the government unveiled its London Help to Buy scheme. This will give Londoners with a 5% deposit the opportunity to get an interest-free loan of up to 40% on the value of their home from April 2016. Homebuyers will then need a mortgage of up to 55% to cover the rest.
Andrew Bridges, managing director of Stirling Ackroyd, said: “Help to Buy is a radical scheme for drastic times – but it will never be enough to shift the dial fundamentally. Because it is not Help to Build.
“Helping current buyers speed up their ambitions is honourable – but is likely to only boost prices further. We’re seeing prices accelerate in the capital again now, even into the winter months. In light of this, there is a creeping danger that the government focuses only on shorter-term solutions, and not the long-term challenges too.
“In the long run, there’s only one thing London’s first-time buyers need from the government – more homes to live in, whether as owner or tenant.  Planning officials need steadily increasing targets for new homes, not a vaguer preference for rejections.”
The Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee scheme provides a government guarantee to lenders on mortgages where a borrower has a deposit of between 5% and 20%. Under the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme, the government will lend up to 20% on the value of a property.