Since the launch of the Help to Buy (HTB) ISA, 146,753 property completions have been supported by the scheme, according to the latest figures from HM Treasury’s Help to Buy: ISA scheme Quarterly Statistics.
Furthermore, though the scheme 196,007 bonuses have been paid, with an average bonus value of £800.
The statistics revealed the highest proportion of property completions with the support of the scheme was in the North West, Yorkshire and The Humber and West Midlands, with a lower proportion in the North East and Northern Ireland.
Surprisingly, the average first-time buyer property price was higher than the mean value of a property purchased through the scheme, at £188,429 and £172,448 respectively. However, both values are below the national average house price of £224,144.
In addition to this, those enrolled in the HTB ISA scheme tend to purchase a property sooner than those that are not, with the average age of a first-time buyer in the scheme being 27, compared to a national first-time buyer median age of 30.
Commenting on the findings, Hargreaves Lansdown personal finance analyst Sarah Coles said: “The Help to Buy ISA has been a lifeline for almost 200,000 people, who have used a bonus to help them buy a property in the past three years. They’ve had £157 million of free money from the government, to help them with the incredible challenge of being able to afford their first property.
“For first time buyers aged 18-39, who don’t plan to buy within the next 12 months, it’s also important to consider the Lifetime ISA. First time buying couples can rack up £2,000 a year in tax-free Lifetime ISA bonuses. It’s a great way to give their deposit a healthy boost.”
Bluestone mortgages director of sales and marketing Steve Seal highlighted the “sheer number of borrowers relying on help to buy”, with 81% of total first-time buyers purchases coming through the scheme in 2017.
“The market contains pockets of borrowers like First Time Buyers, who require extra support to reach their homeownership aspirations, particularly as the cost of living becomes ever more expensive. As an industry it is essential that we ensure that provisions are in place to cater to a wide range of needs,” Seal added.
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