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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

150,000 now own through Help to Buy

More than 150,000 people have become homeowners through the Government’s flagship Help to Buy housing scheme.

New official figures show that 80% of purchases were made by first-time buyers, with total sales of 118,000.

The average house price was £188,380, significantly below the national average, while 95% of Help to Buy completions were outside London.

Help to Buy was created in 2013 to help people buy their own home with government support and more than half of completions were for new-build homes.

A quarter of a million first time buyers are also saving for their first home using the Help to Buy Isa, launched in December.

15 banks and building societies have signed up to offer Help to Buy Isas: Aldermore, Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Chorley Building Society, Clydesdale Bank, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, Natwest, Newcastle Building Society, Santander, Ulster Bank, Virgin Money and Yorkshire Bank.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “We know there is more work to be done to get the homes built people want but it is great news that people are really taking the opportunities available and getting into ownership.”

Home Builders Federation executive chairman Stewart Baseley said Help to Buy has triggered a huge increases in house building activity.

We estimate the larger house builders have increased output by 50% since the trough with overall supply up by 37% in the last two years.”

Alex Rose, managing director of Data Analytics at Hometrack said the underlying value of the homes sold under the shared equity part of the scheme has grown to £14.633bn over the last two years, a gain of over £1 billion in underlying asset value.

“That means the Government has seen a £213 million return on its total equity investment of £2.7 billion since the scheme began." 

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