The number of people joining the housing ladder continues to grow as new figures show more than 73,000 homes have been bought under the government’s flagship Help to Buy schemes.
With housebuilding at its highest level since 2007, Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said the figures demonstrated how the schemes were getting the country building, as part of the government’s long-term economic plan.
Mr Lewis said: “Our long-term economic plan has turned this country around from the one we inherited, suffering from a crashed economy and a housing market where builders wouldn’t build, lenders wouldn’t lend and buyers couldn’t buy.
“Now numbers of first-time buyers are at their highest since 2007, housebuilding continues to climb and planning permissions are at record levels.
“All these measures combined are helping record numbers of people into a new home, including 73,000 households benefiting from Help to Buy and we will keep striving to get that total even higher.”
The figures show that more than 38,000 households have been supported by the government’s Help to Buy (equity loan) scheme, with the average price of homes under the scheme £212,000, well below the £271,000 UK average. The scheme has also brought down the average deposit needed.
Government schemes represent only part of the total, with Halifax figures this week showing 326,500 first time buyer purchases last year, up 22% on 2013.
The Help to Buy (equity loan) scheme was introduced (along with other Help to Buy products) to support people who can afford a mortgage, but struggle to save the deposits required by lenders in the wake of the financial crisis.
As it applies to new build homes it creates much needed new housing to meet long term need, and stimulates economic growth by creating and protecting up to 76,000 construction sector jobs.
The figures show the government schemes are helping every part of the country, with some of the main towns and cities benefiting from the Help to Buy (equity loan) scheme being:
Leeds – 628 sales
Milton Keynes – 516 sales
Peterborough – 512 sales
Birmingham – 465 sales
Bedford – 454 sales