Help to Buy purchases climb 40% in a year

A total of 21,026 properties were bought with a Help to Buy equity loan in the fourth quarter of 2020, an increase of 40% from the same period in 2019, new figures published by HMRC have revealed.

The latest statistics mean that a total 313,043 properties have been bought using the Help to Buy (equity loan scheme) between 1 April 2013 and 31 December 2020.

HMRC’s figures also showed that the total value of Help to Buy loans has now reached £18.9bn, while the value of all properties sold under the scheme now totals £86bn.

Furthermore, HMRC revealed that 82% of all completions have been by first-time buyers.

Commenting on the latest data, TMA Club development director, Lisa Martin, said that the Help to Buy scheme continues to be “a vital resource” for aspiring homebuyers in need of extra financial support.

Martin said: “For first-time buyers in particular, a cohort that has been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Help to Buy has been a lifeline, and the demand we are seeing from this community is likely to continue ahead of the scheme’s closure in 2023.
“In the meantime, advisers with clients who stand to benefit from either Help to Buy or the newly launched guarantee scheme will be paramount in highlighting the options available to these borrowers. Guiding clients to a solution that suits their specific needs over the long-term should drive advisers’ thinking over the coming months – whether this be in the form of government support or something else.”

Legal & General Mortgage Club head of broker relationships & propositions, Craig Hall, added: “Since its launch, the initiative has helped thousands to achieve homeownership, but the government has been clear that it cannot last forever, and it will eventually stop in 2023.

“While initiatives like Help to Buy and Shared Ownership have helped many people to buy, they do not tackle the issue of housing undersupply in the UK. Record levels of demand for homes have driven house prices up steadily and the government will need a plan to control further increases. This will be vital to ensure that homeownership remains an affordable reality for future generations.

“Just this week, the government announced its intention for a new planning bill aimed at boosting housing supply, but more may be needed to ensure the UK hits its target to build 300,000 new homes each year.”

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