Millions benefiting from Government Help to Buy schemes

Millions benefiting from Government Help to Buy schemes

More than 1.2 million individual savings accounts (ISAs) have been opened to help first-time buyers get their foot on the housing ladder, new figures show.

The quarterly Help to Buy statistics, released this week, show that over one million Help to Buy ISA accounts have been opened since their launch, which allow prospective buyers to top up their savings by up to £3,000.

The report also shows that more than 420,000 people have used a help to buy scheme to complete on their first home, which includes around 169,100 property purchases taking place through the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme.

Under this scheme, first-time and existing buyers are able to take up to 20 per cent of a newly built home’s costs so they only need to provide a five per cent deposit.

The figures also show that 95 per cent of first-time buyers have benefited from recent tax changes announced in the Autumn Budget 2017. In November, the Government abolished stamp duty land tax on purchases of up to £300,000, and made relief available on properties worth up to £500,000.

Recent figures show that some 121,500 first-time buyers have saved a total of £284 million thanks to this change.

John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said: “We’re helping a new generation of first-time buyers realise their dream of owning a home.

“Help to Buy continues to be hugely popular across the UK, with 420,000 people getting support so far.

“And with our stamp duty cuts and the lifetime ISA, we are delivering for first-time buyers.”