Help to Buy uptake increased again in 2018

Last year saw an increase in the number of people buying using a Help to Buy Equity Loan mortgage, as there were 52,057 completions throughout 2018 across England, government figures show.

Comparatively there were 46,298 completions in 2017, 38,383 in 2016 and 31,827 in 2016, as takeup has steadily increased every year since it was introduced in April 2013.

Kate Davies, executive director of Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association, said: “The statistics for 2018 highlight a very successful year for Help to Buy, 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 first-time buyers using Help to Buy 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.”

The average mean price of property purchased using the scheme increased to £291,820 in 2018, up from £280,679 in 2017 and £257,659 in 2016.

The Help to Buy scheme will continue until 2023, though it will be restricted to first-time buyers and introduce regional price caps in 2021.

Davies added: “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 Help to Buy-fuelled sales are still running at a healthy pace, continuing the trend we have been witnessing for more than a year.

“[The government] … has made it clear that HTB will come to an end in 2023 and that it is looking to lenders and developers to come up with alternative products for first-time buyers and second movers. The challenge to the industry is clear and IMLA will assist wherever possible in facilitating discussions and proposals.”

In total 210,964 properties have been bought using an equity loan since the scheme was introduced.

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