Help to Buy scheme driving increase in housebuilding, government figures suggest

Published:  14 September, 2015

As well as helping about 120,000 people purchase a new home, the Government’s Help to Buy scheme is also boosting the housing market by stimulating housebuilding and increasing housing supply, according to government statistics.

Help to Buy was established in 2013 to ensure that people contributing to the economy and saving for a deposit could achieve their aspiration of buying their own home through government support.

More than 90,000 people have so far bought their first home thanks to the scheme.

Since the launch of the Help to Buy equity loan and mortgage guarantee schemes nearly 80% of scheme completions have been made by first-time buyers.

The average purchase price was £186,000, with 95% of Help to Buy completions taking place outside of London. Half of all purchases under the scheme have been of new-build apartments or houses.

The fact that completions have been least concentrated in regions where the house price growth is highest appears to show that Help to Buy is benefiting buyers throughout the UK. In London the scheme makes up just 1% of all mortgage lending, compared to an average of 3% across the country.

Running alongside the government’s Help to Buy scheme is its Help to Buy: NewBuy scheme – which offered 95% mortgages for those buying new-build properties – and together the number of new home owners stands at more than 118,000.

Both annual housing starts and planning approvals are the highest they have been for seven years, with more than 606,000 new homes having been built since 2010.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said: “Supporting people who want to work hard, save and buy their own home is a key part of our long term plan to provide economic security for working people at every stage of their life, across the UK.

“Help to Buy is also boosting the nation’s economic security by driving an increase in house building in Britain, ensuring long-term housing supply and creating jobs.”

Chief executive of the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors, John Thompson, said: “Government are to be congratulated on their successes with their Help to Buy scheme, which is having a huge benefit on both people wishing to get on or move up the housing ladder and the construction industry.

“By driving demand for new homes, Help to Buy is ensuring the health of the housing market, creating jobs and strengthening the UK’s economic security.”

Image courtesy of Shutterstock/ Ewelina Wachala

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