Help to Buy hailed as success by housebuilders

A report released by the Home Builders Federation this week has called the Help to Buy scheme an unmitigated success, although this view has been criticised by some who suggest it is sending house prices soaring.

The HBF report shows that 170,000 people were helped onto the property ladder via the scheme and that 81% of these were first time buyers. The scheme offers help with a deposit on new builds and is credited with a 74% increase in housing supply since its inception. The report also claims that it has “supported” 150,000 jobs. The report shows that the median income of those taking advantage of the scheme was £49,000.

The report comes at a time when the Help to Buy scheme is under threat and as experts say it should not be continued beyond 2021. The report points out that the financial market is unlikely to support a high loan to value mortgages should the scheme be withdrawn with current lending levels at just 3.3% for LTVs of more than 90%.

The report sought to counter claims that the scheme has driven up prices in the housing market and to show that price increases have been across the entire market including homes that are not new.

Stewart Baseley from the HBF has said that the Help to Buy scheme has been a success and has enabled thousands of people who would never have thought they could own their own home to get on the property ladder. He points out jobs have been created and local economies boosted.

Baseley says that the scheme could help the government to reach its target of 300,000 home built per year and the government should reflect on this and the effects on the wider economy and social benefits.