Analysis: Help to Buy Isa may be a winning brand

Paul-Smee-700.jpg

The evidence suggests the Help to Buy Isa is a winning brand and now we have an explicit link between a savings product and a mortgage product.

The Budget paperwork was fuller on the savings end of the idea than the mortgage end so lenders can expect to work with Government officials to hammer out the details of how the mortgage side of things will work.

The advantage of building on an existing concept is that the detailed operation of the new scheme should replicate what is already in place for other Help to Buy products. But there are extra challenges. Key among our concerns will be the need to ensure that all the saved funds, together with the Government’s enhancement, have gone to the intended purpose of helping a first-time buyer to raise a mortgage. We can expect to have to deliver a formidable audit trail.

The good thing about Help to Buy schemes to date is that they have hit their chosen target with precision. We must look for equal precision from the new scheme.

No single scheme can produce an answer to the UK’s housing needs, nor detract from the essential requirement for added house construction. But it can offer incremental improvement.