Market Insight - April / May 2019
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HELP TO BUY

More than half of new build homes backed by Help to Buy.

Since the Help to Buy equity loan scheme was introduced in 2013, it has helped over 195,000 households in England purchase their first home or take a second step. Help to Buy has always had its opponents but has recently faced yet more controversy with the news of housebuilders profitmaking from the scheme.

There’s no doubt about it, since its launch, the role of Help to Buy has grown. Over half (52%) of new build homes sold in the first three quarters of 2018 were backed by Help to Buy, the highest level since the scheme began. This compared to just 34% of new home sales in 2014. Yet some markets are more reliant on the scheme than others.

The housing market in the North East has been most dependent on the scheme, with 7.2% of all homes sold last year backed by Help to Buy. The East Midlands (7.0%), East of England (6.8%) and South East (6.6%) followed. While London sat in the middle with 6.5% of homes sold last year using Help to Buy.

However, as many as one in four homes sold in Corby in Northamptonshire last year were backed by Help to Buy. Bedford, Dartford and South Northamptonshire followed with more than one in five buyers using the scheme to help with their purchase. Within the capital, Tower Hamlets topped the list with 18% of sales, followed by Greenwich (13%) and Barking & Dagenham (12%).

Help to Buy is due to come to an end in 2023, and with critics suggesting that the scheme has contributed to driving up house prices, it seems likely that new ways will be needed to support the homeownership dream of the future.

Help to Buy Hotspots (as a % of all sales)

Source: Ministry of Housing & Hamptons International

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