Official government figures from the Treasury have revealed that nearly 50,000 people have purchased a new property through England's Help-to-Buy equity loan scheme and the UK-wide Help-to-Buy mortgage guarantee scheme - both of which were introduced in 2013.
In total, 48,393 homes have been bought using the two schemes, with the government revealing that 82% of these have been made by first-time buyers. The government were pleased to acknowledge this statistic, saying that while Help-to-Buy only accounts for a small percentage (2.5%) of overall mortgage transactions, it is successfully targeting buyers who need a little extra help to get on the housing ladder.
The figures also revealed that the average price of a Help-to-Buy property was £187,800, which is 30% lower than the national average property price of £265,000. Furthermore, 94% of all Help-to-Buy sale completions took place outside of London.
In addition to highlighting the overall statistics, the report also explored the impact of Help-to-Buy in areas across the country. The South-East came out on top, with 7,501 Help-to-Buy loans taken, but interestingly, this only accounted for 1.5% of all mortgages in the area. In contrast, Help-to-Buy mortgages accounted for 6.2% of all mortgages in the east of England, 3.8% in the North-West, 3.7% in Scotland and only 3% in Wales.
Within these regions, the report found that Leeds topped the local authority list for the highest number of Help-to-Buy completions at 763 total sales, followed by Wiltshire (654), Birmingham (589), Central Bedfordshire (561), County Durham (489), Milton Keynes (481), Peterborough (477), Bradford (463), Manchester (426) and Liverpool (403) – there were no Welsh authorities in the Top 10.
Naturally, the UK Government has been quick to praise the Help-to-Buy schemes, with Chancellor George Osborne emphasising that the schemes are working just like they were intended to - helping first-time buyers onto the property ladder. Moreover, the schemes are also helping to boost the construction industry, with the Chancellor citing a report from the Treasury that shows the industry has continued to grow for 15 consecutive months and is currently experiencing the sharpest rise in house building orders since 2003.
However, the report has also shown that while these Help-to-Buy statistics are indeed promising, demand for the mortgage guarantee scheme appears to be lower than anticipated. The Treasury set aside £12 billion worth of guarantees for three years, with the expectation that the scheme will run until December 2016. However, 9 months after its launch, only £388 million of this money has been used, accounting for just 3% of the total budget.
Here at CPS Homes, we are experts in the field of property sales, so if you have a question about the Help-to-Buy scheme in Wales or any other property matter relating to buying or selling, please contact our sales team at our Albany Road branch in Roath.