News story

Help to Buy: helping 130,000 own their own home

Help to Buy has helped over 130,000 people achieve their aspiration of buying their own home since it was launched, latest figures reveal.

New homes

Since the launch of the Help to Buy: Equity Loan and Mortgage Guarantee schemes:

  • 80% of scheme completions have been made by first-time buyers, with more expected following the launch of the government’s Help to Buy: ISA scheme on 1 December
  • average house price was £186,000, significantly below the national average
  • over 130,000 housing completions through the Help to Buy scheme
  • 94% of Help to Buy completions took place outside of London
  • almost half of Help to Buy completions have been for new-build homes

Help to Buy was created in 2013 to ensure that working people who were doing the right thing and saving for a deposit could achieve their aspiration of buying their own home through government support. Home ownership is a key part of the government’s long term plan to provide economic security for working people across the UK.

The scheme continues to benefit first-time buyers overwhelmingly, with the vast majority of sales outside of London and at prices well below the national average.

Help to Buy is also ensuring the long-term health of the housing market by increasing housing supply and stimulating home building. Almost half of the homes bought through Help to Buy are new-build properties, helping to contribute to the 38% rise in private house building since the launch of Help to Buy.

First-time buyers

As today’s statistics show, Help to Buy is helping people who need it most, with 100,000 households having bought their first home thanks to the scheme.

This is 80% of overall Help to Buy buyers, demonstrating that the scheme is successfully targeting those who need help getting on the housing ladder.

First-time buyers will have a further boost from the Help to Buy: ISA, which banks and building societies across the UK are offering as of last week. Under this scheme, first-time buyers can save up to £200 a month towards their first home and the government will boost their savings by 25%, or £50 for every £200, up to a £3,000 bonus.

14 banks and building societies have already signed up to offer Help to Buy: ISAs. These lenders are: Aldermore, Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Clydesdale Bank, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Nationwide, NatWest, Newcastle Building Society, Santander, Ulster Bank, Virgin Money and Yorkshire Bank.

Helping people across the UK

Help to Buy is helping people throughout the UK achieve their dream of owning a new or bigger home.
With almost all completions outside London, the highest number of homes through the mortgage guarantee scheme have been in the North West region. The equity loan – a scheme for new build properties – is particularly prevalent in the South East region.

Figures for the mortgage guarantee scheme also show completions have been least concentrated in regions where house price growth is highest. In London the scheme makes up just 1% of all mortgage lending compared to an average of 3% across the country.

Getting Britain building

Help to Buy is also supporting the country’s economy by getting Britain building again. Almost half of homes bought under the scheme were new-build properties, contributing to the sharpest rise in house building orders since 2003.

This has supported new housing construction output, which has been growing for 30 consecutive months. Both annual housing starts and planning approvals are at a seven-year high, with 660,000 new homes being built since 2010.

Responsible lending

Help to Buy was designed to support responsible lending.

This is demonstrated by today’s figures: the average house price for both parts of the scheme, at £185,972 (£155,573 for the mortgage guarantee and £217,999 for the equity loan scheme), remains significantly below the national average house price of £286,000.

The average house price to income multiple under the mortgage guarantee scheme is capped at a 4.5x ratio to ensure responsible lending.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said:

This government is committed to helping people achieve the aspiration of buying their own home, and our Help to Buy schemes have now helped 130,000 across the UK do just that.

The stronger economy and financial system means we expect banks to start to exit our Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee scheme, which was introduced in times of financial distress and is due to come to an end.

Now our Help to Buy: ISA, which launched this month, is set to help hundreds of thousands of more people saving for their first home, by providing a bonus of up to £3,000 for their deposit.

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.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said:

Anyone who works hard and aspires to own their own home should have that opportunity and these figures show how the government’s Help to Buy scheme is turning those dreams into reality.

We’ve got the country building again and seen the number of new homes increase by 25 per cent in the last year alone with thousands of people across the country helped to own a home with Help to Buy.

House builders have also welcomed the role Help to Buy has played in boosting supply. Home Builders Federation Executive Chairman Stewart Baseley said:

The Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme continues to drive demand for new build homes. It is no coincidence that since Help to Buy has unlocked demand for new homes and allowed buyers to buy the supply of new homes has increased by almost 40%. The industry is now providing more desperately needed high quality homes and creating tens of thousands of jobs across the country.

Published 9 December 2015