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Does Help to Buy make a difference to the property market?

Official figures out today show the Help to Buy: ISA scheme alone accounts for 5% of FTB sales, and even more so in the North.

Nigel Lewis

help to buy

Since the government launched its ISA-backed Help to Buy savings scheme it has helped create 128,328 additional home purchases with a total value of over £22 billion, latest figures reveal.

The scheme has therefore accounted for five percent of all property transactions during the two years it has been running.

Help to Buy: ISA was launched in December 2015 and enables buyers to save up for a property via an enhanced ISA savings scheme into which the government both allows tax-free saving and also gives participants £50 for every £200 they save each month up to a maximum of £3,000.

So far, the government has given first time buyers £132 million through the scheme.

It runs until 2029 and includes properties bought for a maximum of £250,000 outside London and £450,000 within it.

The government’s own figures show that the scheme has been most popular outside London and most effective in prompting purchases in the North West, Yorkshire and The Humber, and West Midlands.

Buyers using the scheme also tend to be younger and buy properties at the more affordable end of the market. Buyers are most likely to be 27 years old while the largest group are between 25 and 34 years old.

And the average price of a Help to Buy: ISA bought property was £176,000, well below the national average of £226,500.

In total all the different Help to Buy schemes have prompted 320,000 people to buy a property for the first time.

Stewart Baseley image help to buy“This help for first time buyers is encouraging builders to invest, with permission being granted for more new homes than ever before,” says Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation (pictured).

“This is not just only giving tens of thousands of families a place to call home, it’s generating jobs and driving local economic growth in communities around the country.”

Read what Theresa May thinks of Help to Buy.

April 27, 2018

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