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The Help to Buy equity loan scheme recorded its busiest quarter in the three months to June since being launched in 2013.

According to official data, April to June saw 14,867 Help to Buy equity loan completions with loans worth £962m in England.  In the first half 2018 a total of 25,036 loans were completed worth £1.63bn to purchase properties worth £7.23bn.  Compared to the same period in 2017, completions were up 13% with the value of loans and properties purchased both up 18%.

This trend was also reflected in the twelve months from June 2017 to June 2018, with purchases in England up 15% (from 42,855 to 49,264) while London-based transactions grew 34% (from 3,652 to 4,878).

First-time buyers have also seen their numbers grow along with the scheme, although they remain stuck at 82% of the total number of transactions.  In England first-timers were up by 16% over the twelve-month period (from 34,636 to 40,162) and in London this was up 32% (from 3,505 to 4,627).

Considerable appetite

In this year’s Budget, chancellor Philip Hammond addressed criticism that the scheme had skewed the housing market,

allowed people to buy bigger properties and pushed developers to build bigger properties.  He confirmed Help to Buy would become more targeted from 2021 with an end date of 2023.

Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) executive director Kate Davies said the data highlighted there was considerable appetite for Help to Buy among home-buyers.  “The government’s programme continues to stimulate the bottom of the housing ladder and indirectly support the whole of the UK prop

erty sector” she said.  “This year looks set to be the strongest year so far for Help to Buy sales, with total completions since the scheme began likely to have passed the 200,000 mark at the start of this quarter.  This further highlights that Help to Buy will remain invaluable in supporting home buyers into the next decade 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” she added.

[Source: Mortgage Solutions 30 November 2018]

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