Help To Buy: Most Loans Go To First Time Buyers

Some 80% of the Help To Buy mortgage scheme loans granted in its first six months were given to first time buyers, the Treasury has said.

A total of 7,313 loans were issued between October last year and March this year, with a total value of 1bn.

The average value of each loan taken out under the controversial scheme was 136,742.

Only about 1% of all mortgages taken out in the period were helped by the scheme, undermining critics of the programme who have said it is prompting a house price bubble.

Most mortgage completions through the scheme were on properties outside London and in regions where prices are lower.

A high proportion of homes supported by the scheme were in the North West and the East of England.

Blackstock property expert Andrew Teacher said: “Today’s figures reinforce the fact that Help to Buy has not helped to blow up the London market as numerous commentators have suggested.

“The figures show the scheme has been most effective in areas of reduced growth where prices have remained relatively flat.”

The mean value of a property purchased or remortgaged through the scheme is 151,597, compared to a national average house price of252,000.

A total of 38% of loans were for terraced houses.

The scheme’s rollout in October saw only four completions, followed by 164 in November and 818 in December.

However, the monthly figure jumped significantly in the first three months of this year.

In January, completions reached 1,580, while the number rose further in February and March, to 2,090 and 2,657 respectively.

Only 5% – a total of 385 completions – were made on properties in the capital.

The Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme was boosted by a second phase equity loan scheme, in the spring.

Data for both phases shows a total of 27,861 homes bought under the scheme with 85% of sales to first-time buyers.

Prime Minister David Cameron said “Help to Buy has helped thousands of hardworking people to buy a new home and crucially it is helping to increase the number of new homes being built around the country.

“It is an important part of our long term plan to back those who want to get on and to secure a better future for Britain.”

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29 May 2014

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