iStock_000001310973XSmallNew figures have shown how thousands of first time buyers have taken advantage of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme.

The data released by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), shows 5,375 new homes have been bought over the past six months using the Help to Buy Scheme.

Encouragingly 92% of the homes were bought by first time buyers; one of the groups Help to Buy was designed to help.
The average price of property bought under the scheme was £194,167, whilst the average equity loan borrowed from the Government was £38,703.

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The figures from the DCLG seem to show that the popularity of Help to Buy will continue, with over 18,000 reservations for new build homes made in the first seven months.

The Help to Buy scheme has been launched in two parts. The first phase started in April and helped people who wanted to buy a new home with a shared equity loan. The second phase started in October, having been brought forward from January, and spreads the risk between the mortgage lender and the Government, allowing higher loan to value mortgages to be offered.

Responding to the figures Kris Hopkins, Housing Minister, said: “Today’s figures show we are building at the fastest rate since the crash in 2008, more people are securing a place on the housing ladder, and we are delivering tens of thousands of affordable homes across the whole country.”

Hopkins continued’: “But there’s still more to do, and improving the housing market will remain a top priority. That means getting builders back on site, delivering new housing, more jobs and ensuring every hard working family has a place they can call home.”

Mortgage lending on the rise

In the same week the Help to Buy figures were released, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has announced mortgage lending jumped sharply over the past 12 months.

According to the CML total mortgage lending in October stood at £17.6 billion, up 9% on September and a massive 37% increase on the same time last year. The gross lending figure for October is the highest since 2008 at peak of the last housing boom.

Commenting on the figures Chief Economist at the CML, Bob Pannell said: “Housing activity is set to strengthen further in the short-term, and to contribute materially to overall economic growth.”

“Combined with the Bank of England’s recent optimism about the economy, this has led some commentators to speculate that an early rate rise may be on the cards. We do not currently share this view, which we believe underplays the importance that the MPC attaches to a secure recovery before raising rates.” (Source: CML)