Help to Buy Peaked

Some 48,393 people have bought a home through Help To Buy – but some industry insiders say the scheme may have peaked.
Since the launch of the two parts of HTB – the equity loan and the mortgage guarantee parts – some 82 per cent of scheme completions have been made by first-time buyers at an average price of £187,800, significantly below the national average of £265,000.

While Help to Buy completions have been least-concentrated in areas where house price growth has been highest, the largest number of mortgage guarantee scheme completions has been in the north west of England and the highest number of equity loan scheme sales has been in the south east.

Overall, 94 per cent of the completions under the scheme have been made by households outside of London.

The government claims the equity loan scheme in particular is also helping to drive an increase in the number of homes that are being built in the UK. The DCLG claims the construction sector has been growing for 15 consecutive months, and is currently experiencing the sharpest rise in house building orders since 2003, while house building companies are taking on new workers at the fastest rate since 1997.

The trends in these figures are broadly supported by separate data from the bank Aldermore which says 68 per cent of its Help to Buy applicants are first-time buyers and 48 per cent earn less than £40,000 a year.

However, house-builder Redrow says the scheme may now be past its peak. “The summer months of 2013 saw Help to Buy activity at its peak, with reservations running at particularly high levels. This year the period from July to date has seen a more normal summer selling pattern” according to the firm’s chairman Steve Morgan.