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Help to Buy could exceed one million completions

The number of completions taking place through the Help to Buy schemes could exceed one million, the government has revealed.

Figures released on Thursday (30th March) showed that more than 259,000 people have bought a home through one of the Help to Buy schemes, 84% of whom were first-time buyers.

This figure now has the potential to grow fourfold, with 868,240 having opened a Help to Buy Isa since its launch in December 2015.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said: “Help to Buy is absolutely central to the big increases in housing supply we have seen over the past few years.

“Helping people who otherwise would not be able to purchase a home provides the confidence builders need to invest in recruiting and training new staff to ramp up production and bring forward new sites.”

Of the homes purchased through Help to Buy, more than 112,000 completions took place through the equity loan scheme, which offers buyers up to 20% of a newly built home’s costs outside of London.

Just 2,381 buyers in the capital’s 31 boroughs took advantage of the scheme from 1st February to 31st December 2016, despite being offered up to 40% of the house price.

In total, the Help to Buy Isa was responsible for 45,098 completions across the UK, with the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the South West among those seeing the highest number of sales.

The average house price across the Help to Buy schemes was £192,854, significantly lower than the national average of £220,000.

Gavin Barwell, housing and planning minister, added: “As our housing white paper sets out, we’re committed to helping more people find a home of their own with the support of a range of low-cost home ownership products.

“Our Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme continues to make home ownership a reality for thousands of people, especially first-time buyers right across the country.”

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