Almost half of England houses unobtainable with H2B ISA, says eMoov

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In six months, almost half of England will be unobtainable to those looking to use a Help to Buy ISA to get on the housing ladder, according to data from eMoov.co.uk.

The online estate agent analysed average house prices across the 326 districts in England, identifying the areas where average property prices exceed the threshold for the H2B scheme of £450,000 in London and £250,000 outside the capital.

The Help to Buy ISA was introduced by the Government in December 2015 and aims to help first-time buyers get on the housing ladder by offering a 25% supplement to their savings, up to a maximum bonus of £3,000 per individual.

However, the eMoov research shows that by July 2016 there were 129 districts in England where the average house price exceeded the maximum spend allowed through the scheme, and that if the same pace of growth continues,  46% of the country will be unobtainable through the scheme by March 2017.

EMoov.co.uk founder and CEO Russell Quirk says that Help to Buy has not helped first-time buyers adequately.

“Although you must at least appreciate the government’s attempt at introducing a leg up through the ISA, the current pace of price growth across the market in England means that it will soon become irrelevant to the average buyer across nearly half of the country,” says Quirk.

“The figures suggest that by March of next year, for those looking for government help to buy in London in particular, just nine of the capital’s 32 boroughs will be a viable option.”

The estate agent’s research in Scotland and Wales found that the average house prices across both countries remained within the H2B threshold of £250,000 and predicts that it will continue to do so into next year.