4 Aug

UK property schemes help 40,000 households

UK property schemes help 40,000 households

The government's Help to Buy schemes have played a key role in enabling first-time buyers to step onto the property ladder.

Housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis believes the latest figures show how crucial the initiative has been in helping households across the UK.

More than 32,500 have bought new homes via the equity loan and NewBuy options, with a further 7,300 sales taking place using the mortgage guarantee scheme.

The minister also stressed the programme had played a vital part in encouraging the building of new homes across the country and boosting the construction industry.

Over 80 per cent of sales have gone to first-time buyers and involved new build properties - leading to a 34 per cent increase in private house building during the first year of the scheme.

UK house building is now at the highest level since 2007 as developers take advantage of the increase in demand generated by the Help to Buy initiative. Figures also reveal the country's construction sector has grown for the past 12 months, with many firms taking on new workers at record rates.

Mr Lewis said: "It’s no accident that since the start of the scheme private house building has shot up by a third and continues to climb. Developers are increasing their output, and taking on new workers at the fastest rate since records began.

"And for the first time, we’re publishing post code level data about the scheme, so communities can see exactly how this vital part of our long term economic plan is improving the housing market and helping their area."

Many first-time buyers are attracted by the numerous benefits of the schemes, with the main advantage being the average price of a home is below the national average at £208,000 under the equity loan and £151,000 under the mortgage guarantee.

David Newnes, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains, believes that Help to Buy has provided a valuable service for first-time buyers since it was launched.

He added that many people attempting to purchase their first home are still having to rely on the Bank of Mum and Dad but the need for such large deposits is reduced under the scheme.

"However, it’s still crucial that the government continues to support those aspiring home owners who don’t necessarily have the financial support from parents or other family members for their deposit," he added.

Mr Newnes also warned that the government needs to ensure in the long-term that a rise in the base rate of interest will not have a negative impact on affordability for new home owners.

In June, more than 4,300 households in England used the government's Help to Buy loan scheme - the highest monthly total since the scheme began in 2013.

According to the figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government, a total of £1.1 billion of loans had been offered, with more than two-thirds of buyers taking out a 95 per cent mortgage and with the rest opting to put down larger deposits.ADNFCR-1222-ID-801739594-ADNFCR

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