Over 200,000 borrowers aided by HTB so far: HMRC

Since the launch of Help to Buy in December 2015, 218,371 property completions have been supported by the scheme, according to data collected by HMRC.

The data also shows that 286,604 bonuses have been paid through the HTB since its start to December 2018, equating to £258m.

The average value of a property purchased through the scheme is £173,627, while the average first-time buyer property is £194,237, and the national average house price is £230,776, according to HMRC.

Furthermore, on average the age of an FTB in the HTB scheme is 27, compared to the average age of an FTB which is 30.

The highest number of property completions in that time frame was in the North West, at 28,768. This was followed by Yorkshire and Humber, at 21,463.

In contrast, Northern Ireland saw the lowest number of property completions at 5,443, the second lowest was the North East at 9,434.

The government report goes on to show that, in 2018, 90,500 completions were executed using the HTB scheme.

In 2017, this number stood at 83,600.

Imla executive director Kate Davies comments: “The statistics for 2018 highlight a successful year for HTB, with the scheme having helped 1,000 households every week over the year, and 143 households a day, to get on the property ladder.

“The government’s programme has continued to stimulate the bottom of the housing ladder and indirectly support the whole of the UK property sector throughout 2018.

“With as many as one in every seven FTBs using the scheme in England in 2018, it is likely that the programme will remain invaluable in supporting home buyers over the remaining years of scheme and will play a crucial role in helping to keep the housing market on an even keel during a period of heightened uncertainty as a result of Brexit.

“While we are yet to see if the programme is continuing to grow in 2019, strong HMRC transaction statistics for Q1 2019 possibly indicate that HTB -fuelled sales are still running at a healthy pace, continuing the trend we have been witnessing for more than a year.”

Private Finance director Shaun Church says: “Today’s housing market is working in favour of FTBs.

“Though accumulating a deposit still remains a challenge, there are now numerous schemes and initiatives designed to give new buyers a leg up onto the property ladder.

“Making clever use of mortgage options – such as by opting for longer-term or higher LTV products, and locking into low rates – is another way FTBs can achieve their homeowning ambitions.”

Legal & General Mortgage Club head of broker relationships and propositions Craig Hall adds: “Looking beyond the scheme’s end it is vital that government and industry works together to ensure these buyers remain supported.

“It is likely that we may see private schemes coming to market to help fill the void, however, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government hinted they are considering alternative schemes to HTB.

“We are already seeing a wave of innovation from lenders to help FTBs, with a return to higher loan to value lending and the introduction of family assist mortgages.”

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