Impact of Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme in England revealed

Thu, 16 Feb 2017

Impact of Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme in England revealed
Outside of London, one in three new build homes were purchased through the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme, which was created to help first-time buyers get onto the property ladder.

However, the government scheme struggled in the capital city as only one in 10 new build home purchases there utilised the Help to Buy loan, BBC analysis of official figures revealed.

Between April 2013 and April 2016 there were 76,559 home purchases outside of London which used Help to Buy loans, while for the country as a whole there were 100,284 equity loans taken out, for a value of £4.6 billion.

The average equity loan taken out was £46,301 while the average purchase price was £229,608. The total value of properties sold through the scheme amounted to £17.7bn, with 81 per cent of those using the scheme being first-time buyers.

London saw "little success" with the Help to Buy scheme though, with high house prices being a major problem. In some cases, loans of up to £190,000 were taken out in the city through the scheme, significantly higher than the average loan amount for England.

Bedford saw the highest number of Help to Buy loans taken out per head of population, with 1,268 loans, working out to be two in every 100 households.

Roger Harding, director of communications, policy and campaigns at Shelter, said: "While a Help to Buy Equity Loan might help some first-time buyers onto the ladder, in the short-term there is a risk it will push up house prices making it even tougher for others to buy a home in the future.

"If the government really wants to tackle our housing shortage, its best bet is to start with building homes that are genuinely affordable for people on low to average incomes to buy and rent long-term."
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