Help to Buy, the government’s flagship housing scheme, has helped 8,624 people across the North West buy a new home, official statistics published today have revealed, with over 3000 in Greater Manchester and over 1,700 in Merseyside. The North West is also the biggest region for the mortgage guarantee with 4,180 families benefitting.
Minister Esther McVey marked the scheme’s success in the region on a visit to a housing development in Manchester today. The Hat Boxdevelopment in New Islington, Manchester will provide 144 one, two and three bedroom apartments, the first of which is due to be completed in early 2016.
Employment Minister Esther McVey said:
“Help to Buy is helping thousands of people across the country – and right here in Manchester – achieve their dream of home ownership.
“Today’s figures show that 573 homes have been bought in Manchester with the support of Help to Buy, joining the 8,624 people across the region who have been able to get on the housing ladder and enjoy the security that comes with it.
“There are now record numbers of people in work in the North West and together with cutting income tax, lowering council tax bills and freezing fuel duty we are helping to secure a stronger economy and a better future for Britain, which is all part of our long-term economic plan for this country.”
The latest figures show how Help to Buy , introduced by this government in April last year, is opening up home ownership to thousands and supporting the government’s long term plan to help hardworking people secure a better future for their families.
In total across the country over 66,000 households have been helped by Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee and Equity Loan. Help to Buy continues to overwhelmingly benefit first-time buyers, with the vast majority of sales outside of London and at prices well below the national average.
The scheme was introduced to support hard-working people who can afford a mortgage, but struggle to save the deposits required by lenders in the wake of the financial crisis.
Together with the government’s NewBuy scheme – which offers 95% mortgages for those buying new-build properties, the number of new home owners across the country has reached more than 71,000. In the North West almost 600 families have taken advantage of the NewBuy scheme.
First-time buyers: mortgage guarantee and Equity Loan
Today’s figures reveal that 81% of Help to Buy sales are to first-time buyers, helping 54,000 into their first home – showing how although Help to Buy accounts for only a small percentage of overall house sales (recent estimates suggest less than 3% for each part of the scheme), the scheme is continuing to successfully target the people who need a helping hand to get on the housing ladder.
Getting Britain building
Help to Buy is also helping to increase housing supply and get Britain building by driving demand for new-build homes. Over half of the homes bought through the scheme are new-build properties, and private house building is up 20% since the launch of the Equity Loan scheme. In fact, in the past year, we have seen the sharpest rise in house building orders since 2003, with many leading builders crediting Help to Buy for reinvigorating the house building industry and boosting housing supply.
Help to Buy is supporting responsible lending, with the average house price for the combined schemes at £186,000, or £156,000 for mortgage guarantee and £211,000 under the equity loan scheme – all of which are well below the UK average house price of £273,000.
The average house price to income multiple under the mortgage guarantee scheme is just over 3.5x salary, and capped at a 4.5x ratio to ensure responsible lending.
Figures for the mortgage guarantee scheme also show completions have been least concentrated in regions where house price growth is highest, for instance in London the scheme makes up just 1% of all mortgage lending compared to an average of 3% across the country.
The Prime Minister said:
“Getting the keys to your first home is a moment that no one forgets – it’s about being able to start planning for the future and enjoying the security that you’ve worked hard for.
“But in the aftermath of the great recession the prospect of buying a first home was nothing more than a pipe dream for many thousands of hardworking people in Britain. Even those with a decent salary who could afford monthly mortgage payments were not able to get on the housing ladder because they could not find a deposit. Only those with access to big savings or the ‘bank of mum and dad’ could get the security together to buy a cherished home of their own.
“That is now changing. Today, Help to Buy has helped thousands of hard-working people buy a new home and enjoy the security and peace of mind that comes with that. And crucially, it’s playing a major part in increasing the number of new homes being built around the country – creating jobs and investing in communities.
“This is all part of our long-term economic plan to secure a better future for Britain – and, together with cutting income tax, lowering council tax bills and freezing fuel duty, the government is backing those who work hard and get on find the financial security they deserve.”
House builders have also welcomed the role Help to Buy has played in boosting supply.
Home Builders Federation Executive Chairman Stewart Baseley said:
“The increased certainty offered by Help to Buy has led directly to a significant increase in investment by house builders in land, the supply chain and labour. By unlocking demand and making home ownership affordable for many thousands of young people and families the scheme has provided the impetus for house builders to step up production. Building high quality homes also boosts supply chains and cements tens of thousands of jobs and apprenticeships for young people in communities up and down the country.
“Young people considering a career in house building today can be confident that ours is an industry with bold ambition and in need of talented, hardworking and enthusiastic people to build the communities of tomorrow.”
Chancellor George Osborne said:
“This government’s long-term economic plan is all about supporting hard-working taxpayers achieve their goals – and for many, their biggest goal is owning their own home.
“That’s why this government created Help to Buy, which has helped over 71,000 people across the country buy their new home, the vast majority of whom are first-time buyers. It’s also helping to get Britain building again: housing starts soared by 23% last year, reaching their highest level since the economic crisis. Help to Buy is good for homebuyers, it’s good for the construction industry, and it’s great for the economy.”
Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said:
“Helping people onto the housing ladder or into a new home is a key part of our drive for a fairer society. Help to Buy also contributes our stronger economy, supporting house-building as Britain continues to benefit from a wide economic recovery.
“I am particularly pleased to see that nearly three and a half thousand people across Scotland have taken advantage of the UK-wide mortgage guarantee scheme, demonstrating the value of sharing the rewards of living in a United Kingdom.”
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:
“The 2008 housing crash left credit-worthy, hardworking people unable to fulfil their dream of home ownership – builders couldn’t build and lenders wouldn’t lend.
“Help to Buy is changing all that, offering a valuable alternative to the Bank of Mum and Dad and helping over 71,000 households to get on the property ladder with a fraction of the deposit they would normally require.
“On top of that, the scheme is a key part of our long-term economic plan, with private housebuilding up 20 per cent over the last year, and at its highest since 2007.”
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