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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Help to Buy funds 131 buyers a day

Help to Buy schemes have created 131 new homeowners every day since April 2013, Housing Minister Brandon Lewis has said.

More than 100,000 people have used the Help to Buy equity loan, mortgage guarantee and NewBuy schemes to buy property with far smaller deposits than they would normally require.

Four out of the five of these were first-time buyers and 94% of the sales were outside of London.

The Help to Buy equity loan and Help to Buy mortgage guarantee schemes were set up to support taxpayers who could pay a mortgage, but struggled to save the deposits required by lenders following the financial crisis.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation said: “Help to Buy continues to drive demand for new homes, and its extension to 2020 is a huge boost. 

“That demand is being met by the house building industry which is increasing output at the highest rate for decades.

“With this support for buyers in place, house builders are planning greater investment in land, labour and supply chains to maintain and sustain this increased level of activity.”

The average price of homes under the Help to Buy scheme is £213,954, well below the £271,000 UK average.

Charles Haresnape, managing director, mortgages and commercial lending at Aldermore said: “These numbers are welcome. It is good to see the scheme is having a positive impact in allowing first-time buyers to achieve their dream of home ownership.”

But he said the number of new housing starts was still "going up and down like a yo-yo”.

“It would be interesting to see what the figures would be like if the equity loan scheme did not exist.

“The question we must ask is when house building will gain its own momentum.”

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