News story

Help to Buy: ISAs opened by over half a million

Over 500,000 people have opened Help to Buy: ISAs, which offer government bonuses of up to £3000, as they save towards buying a home.

The government’s flagship Help to Buy schemes have now helped over 160,000 people achieve their aspiration of home ownership.

Figures show that since the launch of the Help to Buy equity loan, mortgage guarantee and ISA schemes:

  • over 160,000 completions under the schemes have taken place, with 80% having been made by first time buyers
  • average house price being purchased with support from the Help to Buy schemes is £189,795, significantly below the national average
  • 94% of Help to Buy completions have taken place outside London
  • over half of Help to Buy completions have been for new build homes

The Help to Buy schemes continue to benefit first time buyers overwhelmingly, with 129,000 households buying their first home thanks to the scheme. This is 80% of overall Help to Buy buyers, demonstrating that the scheme is successfully helping people get on the housing ladder.

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 the majority of completions outside London, the highest number of homes completed through both the Help to Buy: ISA and mortgage guarantee schemes has been in the North West region.

The equity loan – a scheme for new build properties – is particularly popular in the South East region.

First time buyers and second-steppers have been supported further by the London Help to Buy scheme launched in February 2016. The scheme supports purchases of new build homes in the capital by offering a 5% deposit backed by an equity loan of up to 40% from the government. There were 256 completions in London between 1 February 2016 and 31 March 2016 using the equity loan.

Responsible lending

Help to Buy was designed to support responsible lending and today’s figures show that the average house price for the three schemes combined is £189,795, significantly below the national average house price of £292,000. The average house price-to-income multiple under the mortgage guarantee scheme is capped at a 4.5x ratio to ensure responsible lending.

Right to Buy

More than 1,000 households a month on average have purchased their own home through Right to Buy since the scheme was reinvigorated in 2012 - over 52,500 households in total.

The latest quarterly figures show more than 3,250 people bought under the Right to Buy scheme between January and March 2016.

In total, more than 309,000 households have now been helped to purchase a home through government backed schemes since 2010 - that’s 141 new homeowners a day and around 4,350 a month.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said:

It’s hugely encouraging that over 500,000 people have already opened Help to Buy ISAs. The government’s Help to Buy schemes offer responsible lending, and the vast majority of those who are benefiting are first time buyers.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said:

Anyone who aspires to own their own home should have the opportunity to do so, wherever they are in the country.

Today’s figures clearly show how we’re helping people realise home ownership dream, with 141 new homeowners a day and thousands of households helped every month through government-backed schemes.

Anyone thinking about home ownership and those who believe it is out of reach should look again at the range of government schemes available to them.

Peter Andrew, Deputy Chairman at the Home Builders Federation said:

Help to Buy continues to help thousands of people a month get a foot on the housing ladder and with interest rates expected to remain at historic low levels, demand for new build homes remains extremely strong.

The various Help to Buy schemes are really making a difference, helping people to save for and buy a new build home and so driving demand, and in turn housing supply.

Home builders remain committed to growing their businesses such that they can deliver the further increases in supply the country desperately needs.