The government says its latest release of figures from its various Help to Buy schemes show that over 185,000 people have been able to purchase a new home thanks to its ISA, Shared Ownership, Equity Loan, London Help to Buy and Mortgage Guarantee initiatives.
Out of those 185,000-plus completions, some 150,000 - 81 per cent - have been first time buyers. Overall, the average house price for purchases with support from Help to Buy schemes is £191,000, with 95 per cent of them outside London.
In a bid to counter recent adverse publicity over the usefulness of the Help To Buy ISA, the government also claims that more than 650,000 accounts have been opened since launch in December 2015, with the ISA offering a government bonus of up to £3,000 towards the purchase of a new home.
Within the 185,000 completions, some 90,000 have involved the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme, where the government lends buyers up to 20 per cent of the cost of a newly built home.
The government has also confirmed that the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme - introduced in 2013 to increase the availability of high loan-to-value mortgages - will close as predicted on December 31. The government claims that “confidence has now returned to the market with an increasing number of lenders offering 90 to 95 per cent loans outside the scheme.”