Help to Buy increases in popularity by 15% across England

Written by Oliver Wade

The Help to Buy scheme has seen a 15% year-on-year increase in its use in England, with 49,264 properties being purchased, while in London its use has risen by a staggering 34%, new data has revealed.

The government’s research found that most of the home purchases through the Help to Buy scheme were made by first-time buyers, accounting for 148,863 (81%) of total purchases.

Commenting on the statistics, James Pendleton founder Lucy Pendleton said: “Those looking for some clues as to what is propping up house prices across the country need look no further. First-time buyers are piling into Help To Buy and they don’t seem to give two hoots about the Brexit uncertainty that is holding back the rest of the market.

“First-time buyers, still under huge financial pressure despite relatively low borrowing rates, still account for the lion’s share of these loans and their appetite isn’t waning. They have taken 16% more Help To Buy loans nationally in the past year and in London they are literally hoovering them up.”

The mean purchase price of a property bought following the scheme was £252,888, with buyers using a mean equity loan of £53,793.

Furthermore, in London, the maximum equity loan was increased from 20% to 40% from February 2016, and since then to 30 June 2018, 9,470 home purchases were completed under the scheme in London. Of this total, 7,885 were made with an equity loan higher than 20%.

“It’s here (in London) they are putting the scheme to particularly good use because house prices are still relatively high despite the fact they are cooling. That’s not that surprising but the scale of the increase certainly is, with first-time buyers’ use of the scheme ballooning a massive 32% in the capital,” Pendleton added.

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