The government’s Help to Buy ISA has been used by more than 960,000 people trying to save up for their own home, according to figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government.
From the December 2015 launch date until the end of March this year, 62,528 property completions were supported by the Help to Buy ISA, with March seeing the highest number (7,156).
Overall, Help to Buy schemes appear to have supported around 285,000 completions, with at least 240,000 of these involvingfirst-time buyers. There have been 86,128 bonuses paid out at an average value of £625, for a total value of £54m.
90 per cent of the total number of completions took place outside of London, where the average house price is currently £482,779 – higher than the £450,000 price limit on properties in the capital that can be bought through the Help to Buy ISA. Outside of the capital, the price cap is £250,000.
The mean average house price paid by first-time buyers using the Help to Buy ISA scheme is £170,464, lower than the average price paid by first-time buyers (£182,000). Currently, the average house price in the UK is £216,000.
Meanwhile, the Help to Buy Equity Loan has been involved in more than 120,000 completions.
“We want to make sure that anyone who works hard and aspires to own their own home has that opportunity,” said Stephen Barclay, Economic Secretary to the Treasury.
“That is why I am delighted that our Help to Buy schemes have now helped over 240,000 first-time buyers across the country achieve home ownership.”
Danny Cox, of Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Help to Buy is proving to be a popular warm-up act for the Lifetime ISA [launched in April 2017], reducing the time it takes for first-time buyers to take that all important step onto the property ladder.
“Transferring a Help to Buy ISA to a Lifetime ISA makes sense for all but those who are planning to buy over the next 12 months, as the Lifetime ISA has higher contribution limits and for those who have time on their side, offers the option to invest to beat cash returns.”