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More than 17,000 homes bought through Help to Buy

by James Phillipps on Mar 24, 2014 at 07:15

More than 17,000 homes bought through Help to Buy

More than 17,000 people have bought houses with the benefit of the Help to Buy scheme, official figures show.

Some 17,395 homes were bought through the scheme with 80% first time buyers, according to Downing Street. Of this total, 77% of the purchases were outside of London and the South East with an average property value of £194,992.

Chancellor George Osborne announced in the Budget last week that Help to Buy, introduced nine months ago, is to be boosted by £6 billion and extended until 2020 with the target of helping 120,000 people.

Prime minister David Cameron said: ‘Help to Buy is a key part of our long term economic plan, giving thousands more people the security and independence that comes from owning their own home.’

The Help to Buy scheme has two components- the equity loan and the mortgage guarantee. The former enables buyers to acquire a new build property with just a 5% deposit while the mortgage guarantee offers a guarantee to lenders that they will not make losses on people only able to pay a small deposit.

The vast majority, at almost 15,000 of the homes bought, were done so with the equity loan.

Despite the apparent success of the scheme, there are concerns that it risks creating a house price bubble and glosses over the lack of new housing stock being built.

Shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds said: ‘Any help for first time buyers struggling to get on the property ladder is to be welcomed.

‘But rising demand for housing must be matched with rising supply if this scheme is to bring the cost of housing within the reach of low and middle-income earners.

‘Instead, under this government house building fell to its lowest level in peacetime since the 1920s and home ownership continues to fall.

‘You can't deal with the cost of living crisis without building more homes.’

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