Analysis of Help to Buy calls its effectiveness into question

Wed, 30 Sep 2015

Analysis of Help to Buy calls its effectiveness into question
Analysis by an estate agent has questioned whether the money spent on the Help to Buy schemes would have been better spent elsewhere.

"The jury's out", said Lee Layton, a research analyst for estate agent Carter Jonas, after considering the £2 billion that has supposedly been spent on the Help to Buy Scheme.

While analysing the effect that the Help to Buy scheme has had on the English housing market, he compared it to the housing schemes in Scotland, Wales, and other parts of western Europe, that target the lower end of the housing price spectrum.

"If you omit the emotive fact that individual buyers have been helped, which is clearly good, it's not clear whether the scheme's wider aim of stimulating building beyond the levels that the market would have done anyway, had been achieved," Layton said to the Estates Gazette.

It was reported that new private home take-ups had increased by 30 per cent during the first year of the Help to Buy Equity Loan, but the markets in similar countries with lower take up of housing schemes, or no schemes at all, had a similar increase.

This sheds light on whether the Help to Buy schemes really did anything to help, or just drained the government's money.

Very little has changed in the housing market since the advent of the governmental schemes, in terms of matching supply with demand, and bringing down house prices in general.

However, it is important to remember the major benefits that the schemes have brought to people that otherwise would not have been able to, namely, getting many thousands of first time buyers onto the property ladder.
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