Across what’s being hailed as a very successful year for Help to Buy by mortgage industry figures, an average of around 1000 households per week bought property through the scheme.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) introduced Help to Buy in 2014, as a way of assisting first time buyers trying to get on the property ladder, and the total number of homes bought with its help since its inception is now above 210,000.
More than 42,000 (81 per cent) of homes bought in England in 2018 through Help to Buy were purchased by first-time buyers – a 14 per cent increase on 2017 – which means one in seven purchases by first-timers was through Help to Buy.
Recent research showed first-time buyers needed to find a deposit of more than £30,000 in order to purchase a home in 2018 – an increase on the previous year.
Very successful year
Kate Davies, executive of Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), said: “The statistics for 2018 highlight a very successful year for Help to Buy. The government’s programme has continued to stimulate the bottom of the housing ladder and indirectly support the whole of the UK property sector throughout 2018.
“With as many as one in every seven first-time buyers using Help to Buy in England in 2018, it is likely that the programme will remain invaluable in supporting home buyers over the remaining years of the scheme.
“While we are yet to see if the programme is continuing to grow in 2019, strong HMRC transaction statistics for Q1 2019 possibly indicate that Help to Buy-fuelled sales are still running at a healthy pace, continuing the trend we have been witnessing for more than a year.”
The government has indicated that Help to Buy will come to an end in 2023 and, while welcoming the figures for 2018, Craig Hall, head of broker relationships and propositions at Legal & General Mortgage Club, warned that first time buyers need further help.
He said: “Looking beyond the scheme’s end, it’s vital that government and industry works together to ensure these buyers remain supported. It’s likely that we may see private schemes coming to market to help fill the void. However, during the previous Legal & General New Build Forum, the MHCLG hinted they are considering alternative schemes to Help to Buy.
He added that higher LTV lending from mortgage providers and family assist mortgages are also helping first-time buyers, who should always seek out the expertise of a mortgage broker before taking any course of action.